Things that you might not know about Nicole Scherzinger: She enjoys referring to herself as a "hula girl." She sometimes imagines herself as Superwoman. She reads blogs. And she loves ... Snow Patrol?
If you were as clueless as we were, don't feel bad. All these topics — and a whole lot more! — will apparently be addressed on her upcoming solo album, the long-in-the-works, star-studded Her Name Is Nicole, due November 6 (see "Pussycat Doll Nicole Snares Timbaland, Will.I.Am For Solo LP").
"It's the introduction to who I am, because a lot of people know me as 'that girl from the Pussycat Dolls,' and people will get to know me now," Scherzinger told MTV News backstage at "TRL" earlier this week. "I've always said that in the Pussycat Dolls, I kind of feel like Superwoman. But that's just one of my alter egos. I've got the sweet little hula-girl side of me; I've got the Southern, Kentucky girl inside of me; I've got the mama's girl; I've got the vulnerable, lovesick side of me. [And] those are all on my record."
And if you think that's a lot of alter egos, just wait until you see the list of guests on Her Name Is, a virtual who's who of hitmakers that includes Kanye West, Akon, T.I. — who appears on the first single, "Whatever U Like" (see "Pussycat Dolls' Nicole Scherzinger Picks T.I. For Solo Single: 'He's Not Bad' ") — Timbaland, Ne-Yo, Will.I.Am and, uh ... Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody, who penned the song "Just Say Yes."
"I'm such a huge fan of Snow Patrol's music, and Gary had this song called 'Just Say Yes' that just spoke to me. I felt like I was supposed to make it my own, and I was blessed enough for him to allow me to sing it," Scherzinger said. "It's a very honest and truthful song. And I didn't care about what anyone else thought about my vocals, it was just about my relationship with my song. And then I finally met Gary, and I asked him, 'Did you like the song?' and he said, 'You made my mum cry,' which when he said that, it was like a sigh of relief."
In addition to "Yes," Scherzinger also singles out a pair of equally personal tracks — "Save Me From Myself, I'm Falling" and "Puakenikeni" (named, in a nod to her Hawaiian heritage, after a Hawaiian flower often used in leis) — as her favorites on the album. And she's quick to point out that Her Name Is is a much different effort than her work with the Pussycat Dolls, namely because ... well, this one is all about her.
"It's not so much that I'm trying to move away from the Pussycat Dolls, it's just that I have this music in me, and I knew I was supposed to put out this album," she explained. "I think a lot of my music is healing and helping in some way, or maybe it just makes people feel beautiful. I adore the girls, and we're going to do another [PCD] album together. It's just me coming into my own and not being afraid to strip everything away and be like, 'This is who I am and this is my music, and I want to share it with you on a personal level.' "
But you can forgive a lot of PCD fans if they're having a difficult time separating Nicole the solo star from Nicole the leader of the Dolls. After all, the only thing they have to go by so far is the video for "Whatever U Like," which — like pretty much everything the Pussycats have done previously — is a solid four-minute slab of raw sex appeal. And while Scherzinger doesn't see anything wrong with getting sexy, she's hoping that most fans will give her solo effort a listen before passing judgment.
"I read blogs, and I hear what people are saying about me, and I think that it's a compliment [when people say] that I'm keeping it sexy, because that's just me. But when people hear the music, they'll know that's not what it's about," she said. "I'm an artist and that's why I'm here, and if anyone feels different, then give it a shot and give it a listen, and you'll see."
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