Little Mix has defied the assumption that manufactured pop groups are limited to that title. This Friday (Nov. 24) the band shares an all-new documentary titled Glory Days, giving a proper look behind-the-scenes of one of the world’s biggest girl groups, beginning their start on Season 8 of The X-Factor.
Throughout the documentary, the young women they go above and beyond to show their extreme dedication to their craft, and also dissprove common tabloid headlines by making clear the four are really ride-or-die friends. Glory Days director Adam Goodall gave Billboard the inside scoop on how the film came to be, as well as what he hopes fans will get out of the new look into the band’s life.
How did your working relationship with Little Mix come to be?
I started on their first ever trip to the US, which I think was in 2012. My background is doing a lot of stuff for record labels, performances, behind the scenes, and it was Columbia Records who actually put me in touch with the girls. Honestly, I’m a Brit but I live in the states, so I started traveling around with them, doing all their tour diaries, and sort of behind the scenes stuff over the years. I’ve traveled all around the world with them, really. So that’s how I first got in touch with the girls. It was at the end of last year, I think that they’re at their point in their career now where they were ready for a documentary — a bigger piece of content.
What was it like shooting these behind-the-scenes videos?
2017 is definitely the girls’ biggest year. They did an arena tour around the UK, obviously they supported Ariana Grande on tour and we wanted to capture the biggest year of their career. I think the key to the whole film is the access that I got. I have known the girls for so long, it was quite natural for them to ask me to then make this documentary. So they essentially let me into their lives and allowed me to follow them around for the best part of a year.
Why limit the scope to a year?
From the start, we didn’t want to do loads of archives. We didn’t want to be like, oh here’s what happened in 2013 and here’s what happened in 2015. This year was so busy for them, and they were doing so many amazing events and bits of promo and they’re at the top of their career now. The idea was that we’d show a clip of them winning The X-Factor, then almost fast forward to 2017. I think people have come on a journey with the girls. Myself and the girls wanted to show what’s involved right now in their careers as opposed to [looking back]. It’s called Glory Days, obviously off the album, but [these] truly are their glory days.
For fans who have yet to see the film, can you walk through some of the major events they’ll get to see?
It starts off in January, the girls are about to embark on a three month tour around the US with Ariana Grande as well as flying back to the Brit Awards and then flying back to Madison Square Garden. It’s following their year.
A big part of the documentary is the process of them rehearsing for the Brit Awards and flying back to London and the sort of frustrations they had, because they were so busy that they didn’t have a huge amount of time to rehearse. I think they had, like, three days to rehearse for the biggest performance of their careers.
As a whole, they’ve gone from being teenagers [on The X-Factor] to now being young adults. This is a coming of age film. It’s the girls blossoming into young adults. This year is the biggest year of their careers, and that’s what we’re focusing on — the trials and tribulations of life on the road with one of the biggest girl bands in the world.
What’s something unexpected about Little Mix that fans might discover in the movie?
I think the public sees the glitz and the glamour behind being a girl band. They get onstage, the girls look glamorous and they look fantastic, but these girls are so hard-working and some nights they get one, two hours of sleep before they have to do the next show and I think this documentary shows quite how hard the girls work and also how in-control they are of their careers.
It’s quick to say, “oh they’re just a pop manufactured band.” Actually, it’s quite the contrary. They are fully involved with all of the creative process. They are in charge. I think you’ll see from this film, if something does go wrong, the girls are really keen to make it better and they are very much in control of their destiny. I think that’s really refreshing to see for a pop band, that they are so heavily involved, and also they’re passionate about what they do.
Often when bands put out bits of content, everything is wonderful and lovely and happy, and there are moments in this film where you’ll see the pressure of all of the hard work and the lack of sleep get to them. There are a couple moments — there’s a bit where Jade actually breaks down — that you’ll see for the first time that side of the girls, and I think fans are going to really enjoy that. The girls aren’t always happy, they are human beings. They open up and allow me to film them in their most fragile and delicate moments.
After seeing the teaser, I have to ask: who is your favorite girl band?
Obviously it’s Little Mix. I did love when Alex goes, “Well, yeah, Fifth Harmony,” and Perrie’s face is like, “Uh dude.”
I’ve rooted for [Little Mix] since the beginning and, I’ve watched them grow up and they’ve also given me lots of opportunity over the years as well. I’ve traveled around the world with them as well, and this is my first proper big documentary. Although I do love Fifth Harmony as well, but Little Mix are my girls.
Along with the film, Little Mix also released a platinum edition of Glory Days, which can be ordered here.