The singer left one of the most successful girl bands of all time after a decade of relentless trolling. Now, as she prepares to go solo, she reveals why she’s ready to return to the spotlight on her own terms

Jesy Nelson is having her photo taken. For the first time in her career, it’s all about her. She is no longer one quarter of the hugely successful girl group Little Mix. Nelson is about to release her first solo single and she says she is happier than she has been in years. But you wouldn’t know it: she looks painfully self-conscious, unsmiling and anxious.

Photos done, she disappears to change clothes. When she returns, she’s unrecognisable. Dressed in black T-shirt, leggings and platform trainers, Nelson is all smiles; warm, giggly and uninhibited. I tell her I’ve never seen such a contrast. She laughs. “When I’m in front of a camera, I don’t know what to do. The other three girls would be in the weirdest positions and look fabulous. If I did it, I’d look awful.”

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