Nicole Scherzinger is a multi-faceted artist, and one of the few who left their mark on both TV and the music industries. It all started when she won her first competition at age 23 on The WB’s Popstars, and most recently in 2010, on Dancing With the Stars. But it was her audition for the burlesque pop group Pussycat Dolls in 2003 that gave her the confidence she exudes today as she led the Dolls to sales of more than 10 million records in their seven years together.
After a successful experience on one of TV’S hottest talent shows, The X Factor, Nicole has already moved on towards more achievements as a solo performer.
In a sunny suite where we did our Velvet cover shoot at The Franklin, London, Nicole Scherzinger opens up about her past and present journey, her inspirations, and the secrets of her ever-splendid figure. Talented, humble, and sexy… here is our interview with the woman who has it all!
Creative Direction: Ameni Shafik / Styling and Fashion: luisaviaroma.com
You are iconic for being an accomplished artist in multiple fields – music, theatre and film, do you have a different source of inspiration for each discipline?
There are a number of iconic and talented women who I really look up to. Bette Midler inspires me immensely, she has blurred the lines between all of these disciplines and has carved a lane for herself to showcase her talents – that’s something I see myself doing too. I’ve been fortunate enough to work with many women who have inspired me and continue to do so, from my time in the Pussycat Dolls, throughout my solo career and even in theatre with the likes of the phenomenal choreographer Gillian Lynne. There’s nothing more powerful than a group of women determined to rise!
The Pussycat Dolls’ Doll ‘Domination’ album recently celebrated its tenth birthday but is still a huge part of popular culture and is streamed and played all over the world. What are your best memories from your time with the girls?
It will always be, touring. There’s something incomparable to being in front of a different audience and culture every night in a new city. We played in the stunning mountains of New Zealand through to the Pyramids in Egypt and every corner of the world. Those memories will remain with me forever.
The Pussycat Dolls’ were a huge phenomenon with incredible success- it inspired so many women in so many ways, did you ever think it would become this immense?
It felt powerful at the time, but I don’t think we knew how much power – there was strength in uniting women through a common theme of empowerment and I could only have dreamed of the success and opportunities we had as a group, and the legacy we’ve left.
As a professional dancer, fitness is part of your life, can you tell us more about your eating regimen, or is their certain foods us women should avoid, in your opinion?
I’m a firm believer in everything in moderation for a healthy balance, but I do have four rules I try to stick to. First: Always try and keep active and do a little exercise everyday, whether that’s a walk or a work out. Second: Get your sleep – 8 hours is ideal, but make time for it! Third: Drink as much water as you can, it works wonders for your complexion. And the last one is is really hard when you’ve been on a night out or have cravings, but do everything you can to avoid eating in the middle of the night!
What are your best memories from hit TV series ‘Dancing with the Stars’, and UK ‘XFactor’?
Gosh, DWTS was such a long time ago, I mean a highlight was definitely winning it, and the amazing friendship I developed with Derek Hough – he’s like my brother now. As for X-Factor, every year was different and I was blessed to mentor and work with such incredible talents that are killing it now – from James Arthur to One Direction.
You are involved within many philanthropic projects, which include UNICEF and the Special Olympics- can you tell us in more detail about these projects you are involved in, their aim and the impact of them?
I’ve always been a great supporter of the work that UNICEF does on a global scale and have worked with them for several years now on their projects with young people all across the globe. With Special Olympics, it’s more of a personal relationship – my Aunt has Down syndrome and has blessed my life in so many ways that I wanted to give back to a charity that provides so many opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities worldwide. There’s a lot of work to be done to raise awareness of the charity and push for inclusion. We have the Special Olympics in 2019 in Abu Dhabi and I can’t wait to be there supporting the athletes.
Who are your favourite fashion designers, and more importantly why?
My favourites change from season to season. I’m consistently in awe of Rick Owens, and love Celine. Yohi Yamamoto and Off-White are a couple of my favourites for casual wear too.
When it comes to fashion month, in your opinion which city is best; NY, London, Milan or Paris?
I’ve never been to Milan Fashion Week. I hope to come next season. Each city offers its own unique setting and experience, but I think Paris is probably my favourite.
With past collaboration collections with C&A, and Missguided under your belt, would you consider another collaboration with another brand in the future?
This is something I’m working on at the moment and hope to be able to share with you in the next few months. I’ve been working hard on my own fragrance too, it’s called ‘Chosen by Nicole Scherzinger’ and is a collection of unique scents that I’m really proud of.
What can you tell us as your new role as a panelist on the upcoming reality competition series, The Masked Singer, that will air next year?
The Masked Singer is completely crazy! It’s a celebrity talent show concept that came from Asia – one of the most popular shows over there. Twelve celebrities sing behind crazy masks and elaborate costumes. I’m part of a panel who, with the help of the audience in the studio and at home – tries to figure out who is behind the mask. It’s totally wild and unlike anything I’ve ever done before – but I think people will get glued to it, and be desperate to figure out who everyone is! It’s a lot of fun. It airs on FOX in the US from January.