Nicola Roberts: Small songwriters need to be paid by big music companies

Nicola Roberts

Nicola Roberts says it's important that smaller songwriters are acknowledged by big music companies.

The former Girls Aloud singer made the comments when asked about Taylor Swift's recent letter to Apple.

Apple wasn't going to pay artists during their free three-month trial streaming period. But they are now.

"We have so many talented writers. Companies need to understand that smaller writers also need to be supported," she tells Newsbeat.

"Younger writers and smaller writers need to live and get by. They need to be paid. It has to be fair."

Lots of artists, including Girls Aloud, work with other writers or perform tracks other people have written for them.

In April, Newsbeat spoke to Jimmy Napes who has worked with acts like Sam Smith and Clean Bandit. He also picked up the best contemporary song award at this year's Ivor Novello Awards for his work on Rather Be.

He said it was "nice to be acknowledged" for all the hard work writers do.

Little Mix
Image caption Black Magic is tipped to be number one this week on the Official Singles Chart

Nicola says pop music is in a good place and that she's a big fan of Little Mix.

"Little Mix are hilarious. Whenever I've been in the studio with Little Mix I've had the best time ever," she says.

"I continuously say those girls need their own TV show. I'm so happy for them that their single is at number one this week and I hope their record does equally as well.

"I love them."

Girls Aloud
Image caption Girls Aloud were Britain's most successful girl band with 21 top 10 singles

There are no plans for Girls Aloud to reunite and Roberts' second solo album won't be coming anytime soon.

"At the minute I've just been taking time to write for other artists.

"It's been four years since Cinderella's Eyes [her debut solo album] and in that four years I've changed quite a lot as a person.

"I think you need time to figure out the sounds you are inspired by and I've got some really exciting artists cutting some songs that I'm really excited by."

Nicola wouldn't say which artists she'd been working with because the sessions might not end up on their final album.

It's not just music Nicola is working on. She's been speaking to Newsbeat because she's co-presenting a Radio 1 and 1Xtra Stories documentary.

High Street Hijabis will be broadcast on BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra on Tuesday 14 July at 9pm.

Nicola Roberts
Image caption Nicola Roberts sang with Girls Aloud on a Radio 1 Live Lounge tour in 2008

Nicola says it was a great opportunity for her to learn about a topic she didn't really know about.

"The biggest revelation I found was that Islam, to these young hijab-wearing women, is not black and white.

"There's a lot of grey areas and I didn't really realise it was about the personal journey of each person.

"I just saw the religion as very black and white and you either follow the religion entirely or you don't. It's not really like that.

"It was just a great opportunity for me to have a real insight and learn firsthand from these really cool young women who are trying to find themselves within western fashion and culture but also stay true to their religion and respect their faith."

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