Paula from GRL Talks Debut EP & Spice Girls Obsession – Read the Q&A! (@GRL @GRLPaula)

245044-524b497eb6abfRising girl group G.R.L released their highly anticipated debut EP on Dr. Luke’s Kemosabe Records/RCA Records last month and its been on repeat here at the CelebSecrets4U HQ ever since!

The self-titled EP features the girls’ current single “Ugly Heart.” In addition to “Ugly Heart,” the G.R.L. EP features new tracks such as “Rewind,” “Don’t Talk About Love” and “Girls Are Always Right,” along with “Show Me What You Got” which was originally released as part of the “Now 49: That’s What I Call Music” compilation.

CeleSecrets4U caught up with band member Paula van Oppen to talk about the story behind GRL’s formation, the process behind making the band’s debut EP and her love for the Spice Girls — can we see a possible GRL and Spice Girls collab in the future? You have to read the Q&A to find out!

You can purchase G.R.L.’s EP on iTunes here: Paula, Lauren, Simone, Emmalyn, and Natasha will be on Good Morning America tomorrow to perform their single “Ugly Heart!” Make sure to tune in at 9AM EST/PST on ABC.


CS4U: So let’s talk a little about how your girl group started, how you got together?

Paula: “Well, it kind of happened over a long period of time. With Lauren, she was working with Robin Antin, the creator of the Pussycat Dolls, on another girl group, and once they ended she kind of wanted to do another group with Robin and they slowly started to find girls. You know, we all kind of knew each other through the industry and it slowly trickled in like a little puzzle piece, every single person. I kind of came in from the dance world, Natasha was a good friend of Lauren, Simone was on X Factor, and Emmalyn was kind of the most random one—we found her on YouTube, actually. Lauren plays a little stalker online, so she was looking for like singer/dancer girls to bring in our group, and she stalked her on Instagram I think for anything that said “singer/dancer” on it! Yeah, we flew her out—she’s a Canadian—and she was our last, final puzzle piece. And after he we kind of started working with Luke, and all of us collaborated on changing and becoming GRL.”


CS4U: And how would you guys describe your sound to our viewers?

Paula: “Our sound is very upbeat. You know, it’s full of powerful messages, it’s fun, it’s fun to dance to. You’re definitely going to be moving one part of your body! And it’s high energy, and it’s something that we all want, you know, it has all these different styles and personalities. Every song is different, and so there are things for everyone to have an interest in. It just creates this very unique super group, we like to say, we make this like five-headed monster.”


CS4U: So your EP just released last oth — congratulations!

Paula: “Yes, thank you so much! I know, it’s been a long time coming, so we’re all very excited.”


CS4U: How was the process of picking out the songs?

Paula: “Like I said, there’s five of us, so it’s kind of easy to just have so many options, so it’s more narrowing them down, because the challenge is that we all have our favorites, and we collaborated on that and have a great team guiding us as well. We just have so many things that we want that it’s kind of a fun process to narrow and to try songs, and we’re really excited to get a lot of them that we’ve been performing to on a record. I know that our fans are really excited and we have been waiting for this for who knows how long—since we were little girls.”


CS4U: What’s your favorite track on the album and why?

Paula: “That’s so tough to say because I love them all and they all have a special place for me. I do, however, have a favorite at the moment because it’s new and nobody’s heard it. We haven’t done the dance to it yet, it’s kind of like the new girl on campus, so I’m really excited about “Don’t Talk About Love.” It’s so upbeat and fun, and we actually recorded that when we were on the road. We did a Claire’s tour over in the East Coast, and that song we did passing through Chicago, so it was treated like a one-off and we didn’t think too much about it, and now that it’s on our first EP I think it’s really exciting and it kind of brings me back to tour.”


CS4U: And with your single, “Ugly Heart,” did you ever think the music video would blow up? Did you ever think you guys would be here right now with so much support from your fans?

Paula: “You know, I don’t think you ever quite expect it like it turns out, so it’s definitely a surprise, you know, how much positive feedback we were getting. And we kept counting the numbers on YouTube, all the views, everyday. I know Lauren had a bet with her friends and they had said I think like a million views in a week or something like that, so the fact that we did a million in two days is pretty exciting for all of us to say the least!”


CS4U: I saw your album artwork and it actually reminded me of the Spice Girls, which I got really excited about!

Paula: “We love the Spice Girls! We had Mel B in our “Vacation” video!”


CS4U: Really?!

Paula: “Yeah, she was in our first music video. She kind of let us pass down the torch. You know, we all idolized the Spice Girls. Scary Spice was one of my favorites, so it was very cool.”


CS4U: Yeah, it just brought me back once I saw the album artwork I was like, oh my god, that reminds me so much of the Spice Girls, and I think it’s going to remind fans my age a little bit about that.

Paula: “We grew up loving the Spice Girls. I know I loved Spice World. But I mean, we have so many influences in that generation. We have Destiny’s Child, TLC, Pussycat Dolls, we just kind of pull from all of them, but Spice Girls is very dear to my heart.”


CS4U: Would you guys ever like to collaborate maybe with one of them, or maybe all of them?

Paula: “Um, yes! We talked about maybe if they ever did a reunion tour that we want to be a part of it!”


CS4U: That would be so cool!

Paula: “Yeah, that would be so fun. Like, not headline, I mean open! Just to be on a tour with them would be amazing.”


CS4U: And then, we are CelebSecrets4U, so is there a secret you can share with us that fans may not know about you guys?

Paula: “A secret about the group? I don’t know if this is a secret but I don’t think it’s that well known. Some fans might want to know that we’ve all lived together at one point, so we all have the GRL house and we’ve all kind of passed through this one house and it’s kind of in our eyes our sorority house. I never went to college, and neither did most of the girls. I think Simone has the most traditional college background, but it was a time to bond and really get to know each other, and we’re like a sisterhood now that we’ve lived together and really gotten so close and know all of our ticks when someone needs food or they’re tired, or you know, things you need on the road, you have your sisters. So I don’t know if that’s been talked about that much, but I think it’s a really cool secret.”


CS4U: Aw, that’s really cute! And then, my last question: are there any concerts coming up that you want to tell your fans about?

Paula: “As far as concerts, we have shows. They’re not full concerts, we’re still taking baby steps to a full show. But we are doing some stuff in Australia, which we’re all really, really excited about. I’m a little bit bummed because it’s going to be winter, but I’m excited just to go to Australia. It’ll be my second time, so I’m excited to see more kangaroos and koalas. And I think we’re doing pretty well over there on iTunes. I think we’re number four right now, or something like that. So that’s really exciting to get out there, and people really know our music so our shows are going to be a different vibe. There will be some people singing along, I hope!”




Juliet Schroder

Written by Juliet Schroder

Juliet is the founder and executive producer/host of Celeb Secrets and Celeb Secrets Country. When not reporting on the latest news in pop culture and country music, she enjoys traveling, spending time with friends and family, and exploring the latest fashion trends.

Juliet holds a B.S. in marketing from St. John's University.