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Jesy Nelson has said she feels “like a different person” and is the happiest she has ever been.
The former Little Mix star has released her first single as a solo artist after leaving the chart-topping band last year.
The hip-hop inspired track Boyz featuring Nicki Minaj channels Sean “Diddy” Combs’s 2001 track Bad Boy 4 Life, who also cameos in the music video.
The 30-year-old left the band in December after nine years, blaming the toll being in the group had taken on her mental health.
Nelson discussed her new lease of life with Amanda Holden and Jamie Theakston on Heart Breakfast to celebrate Global’s Make Some Noise Day.
Asked if she is now in a stronger place, Nelson said: “It’s just mad. I literally feel like a different person.
“That’s how I feel genuinely. I honestly, hand on my heart, can say this is the happiest I’ve ever been.”
Clarifying how much the change is due to leaving the band, she said: “I had the best memories in Little Mix, I can’t take ever that away.
“We laughed so much, we had the most fun together, but it was just time, like I wasn’t in a good place and I’ve been very open and honest about that and I just needed to take myself out of that situation, and generally do what was going to make me happy and yeah, you live once and I think in life you’ve got to do what makes you happy.”
She said her new single was the first song she wrote and was created while she was going through a painful break-up where she asked herself: “Why do I always fall madly in love for the bad boy?”
Discussing the new track on Capital Breakfast, host Roman Kemp asked Nelson if it is the start of a new era for her.
She said: “Yeah massively, this is just generally, this is who I’ve wanted to be as an artist and this is the music I feel so passionate about.
“For me, people who don’t know me out of Little Mix, I grew up on 1990s, 2000s R&B and hip-hop and that’s my thing, that’s my passion, so I really wanted to bring that into my music now so yeah, I just feel like this is me now, this is me as an artist.”
The accompanying music video is set in southern California and sees Nelson moving into a large house in a residential neighbourhood with her female friends where they sunbathe and she dances on the roof.
Talking about shooting the music video, she said: “It was so much fun, I co-directed it with my friend so that was really, really special for me.
“I didn’t want to give it to a big director and then it comes back and not be my vision.
“That really scared me, so it was so important for me to get hands-on with everything.”
Global’s Make Some Noise Day brings together its radio brands, including Heart and Capital, to raise funds and awareness for small charities supporting disadvantaged people across the UK.
– For more information on Make Some Noise, go to the website https://www.makesomenoise.com/.