There are many things I would do to listen to new pop music, and last week I pushed that willingness to the limit. No, I didn’t do anything shameful or humiliating — this time — but in order to listen to some of Nicole Scherzinger’s new music, I did something that I never thought I would do: take a spin class.
On Thursday night (October 2), I arrived at a Soul Cycle spot located in New York City’s West Village neighborhood. I’d often heard that patrons have a tendency to treat the brand with a devout sort of reverence, almost like a cult. But if I wanted to get an early listen to the formerPussycat Doll’s upcoming sophomore album, Big Fat Lie, I had no choice. I was ready for my baptism.
Me, texting a friend to “pray 4 me rn.”
Once I was all strapped into my stationary bike, my nerves began to settle. Partially because my shoes were literally hooked into the pedals (#NoEscape), but also because I was ready to fully give myself over to this new experience. Madeleine, our instructor and “expert at bikes that go nowhere,” began giving the “virgins” in the room (i.e., me) a bit of Soul Cycle 101.
And then Nicole walked in.
Looking casually stunning, in that low-key way only celebrities and distant first-year-of-college friend-crushes seem capable of, she made her way to the podium to join Madeleine on a neighboring bike. With all the pieces in place, it was time to tap it back.
We kicked off with the 36-year-old singer’s title track, “Big Fat Lie,” eventually spinning to the never-before-heard “Electric Blue” as we worked out way up the imaginary spin-class mountain.
Previously released songs “Your Love” and “On The Rocks” followed suit, along with a 100-percent appreciated PCD throwback with “Buttons,” and before I knew it I was hovering, ass-off-the-seat, over my bicycle.
Kinda ducking in and out of this plane of existence at that point. Hey, who put these two-pound weights in my hands? The Soul Cycle gods, I guess.
The only slow moment of the night came when Madeleine put on Nicole’s new single, “Run.” Despite its down-tempo pace, it was a weirdly perfect addition to our workout playlist. The next time you’re on a stationary bike, put on “Run,” ramp up the resistance, drop your head and justzone.
Speaking of the ballad, Scherzinger said that she recently filmed a music video for it while in London. She didn’t give the final product away entirely, but she did tease that shooting involved a “one-take live performance.”
Back to the spin class, let’s just say that it was as bizarrely transcendental an experience as it was sweaty, and it was definitely one that I won’t soon forget. It helps that my thighs are currently thuh-robbing more than 24 hours after all this originally transpired, but still
When I was 14 I started to get breakouts on my face… I was even called pizza face’: Under the microscope with Nicole Scherzinger
The 36-year-old singer on coping with pain, being close to death, needing only four hours of sleep a night and why she doesn’t want to live forever
CAN YOU RUN UP THE STAIRS?
Yes. In Los Angeles, where I live most of the time, there are lots of places with outdoor steps, which are great for toning your legs. I walk up the Santa Monica Stairs [369 steps] or hike in the Runyon Canyon. The choreography for my solo shows is high energy, so I’ll build up my stamina with spin classes, weight training, dancing and exercise outdoors. When I’m not in training, I exercise once or twice a week for 20 minutes or so. I like yoga, too.
COPE WELL WITH PAIN?
I think I’m good at coping with pain because I’m so active. I don’t like pain — a bikini wax is painful, but I can stand it.
HAD ANYTHING REMOVED?
My wisdom teeth in my 20s. All four were removed under general anaesthetic.
GET YOUR FIVE A DAY?
I’ll snack on carrots, celery and almonds, lunch might be a big green salad with tuna or chicken or a sandwich, while dinner will be pasta or chicken with veggies or sushi. I love soft boiled eggs, so if I’m working out in the morning I’ll have those on brown toast with smoked salmon.
I love fish and chips, crisps and desserts — sometimes I have them a few times a week, but on the whole I believe in eating everything in moderation.
Just after I started performing with the Pussycat Dolls I got a severe case of salmonella and food poisoning. I was in hospital for six days and almost died.
ANY FAMILY AILMENTS?
When I was 14 I started to get breakouts on my face — one or two monster spots at a time. I was even called pizza face. I’d try to dry out the blemishes with toothpaste and cover them up with concealer. The spots followed me into womanhood. My sister, Keala, eight years younger than me, had acne as a teenager. She’s a Pilates teacher and mum of three and only gets the occasional breakout now. She recommended the Proactiv+ skincare regime. I still get the odd spot around my chin or forehead.
I’m scared of failing and not doing enough. Oh, and I don’t like scary movies.
WHAT KEEPS YOU AWAKE AT NIGHT?
Sometimes my head spins from thinking about work, so I’ll get up and write or try to read a little, which helps. I usually sleep for between five and eight hours a night, although I only need four hours.
POP ANY PILLS?
If I have a headache, I’ll always drink more water rather than reach for a painkiller. I don’t like taking things.
TRIED ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE?
I swear by aromatherapy essential deep tissue massage to help me relax. Aromatherapy baths also help me unwind.
WOULD YOU EVER HAVE PLASTIC SURGERY?
LIKE TO LIVE FOR EVER?
With the way this world is looking right now, no.
Nicole is an ambassador for skin range The Proactiv+ 3-Step System, proactiv.co.uk