Kym Marsh - a modern day Cinderella. Brought up in a Council Estate in Wigan there were tough times, but like all northern towns the family came first and in her late teens she gave birth to David and Emily. Enter the wicked step-mother, well Nasty Nigel, who whisked her away to the big smoke with the step-children (I.e. the now forgotten members of Hear'say). Then one night in a fabulous glittery ball she met her very own Prince Charming or Jack Ryder as we the public know him and the rest as they say is history. Designer Magazine caught up with Ms Marsh to find out about the good times and the bad times and found the real Kym Marsh in the process.
Q: You've got "Cry" out this week. After working on the album for the past 12 months how does it feel to have your little baby out into the world?
A: I'm really really excited, but at the same time i'm a little apprehensive because it is my first kind of thing and I'm rooting for it. It is quite a scary thing. I was working on the album for six months last year, but then comes the promotion for the single with the video shoot and god knows what else so it's been pretty full on for the past year or so.
I wasn't really sure what people would expect from me. I thought they'd either thing I was going to be really poppy and the same sort of stuff as Hear'say or I'd go really dancey. But this is something that I really enjoy listening to and all the bands I like are really guitar based. I just wanted to sing and sometimes when you're part of a band it's all the dance routines and you just mime the rest. It's important for me wherever possible to sing live and to have a live band and this kind of music enables me to do that.
Q: When you joined Hear'say were you into pure pop or was it more guitar based?
A: I'm one of these people who can listen to anything. I appreciate all aspects of music. I was always the same as a kid and there was never anyone I was insane over. But the things that I do really love are things like the Chili Peppers and i'm really liking Avril Lavigne at the moment, Natalie Imbruglia's music and Texas - so it's all pretty guitarey.
Q: When you went into the Popstars auditions surely you must have known it was all going to be about the money and not about the music?
A: At that point in time I was very naive because although I'd been singing a long time I hadn't been so seriously involved in the music industry. Obviously being signed and being part of a band it was very different to what anybody would imagine. I think we were a little experiment and we weren't given as much of a free reign as we would like to have been given. We had to stay very much pop because that was our audience and it would have been weird if we hadn't done pop. People weren't really concentrating on the music as much.
Q: We heard all the reports and from what it seems looking from the outside it seems that most of you didn't get on that well. What was it like actually being in the band?
A: I think there were a lot of misconceptions about us and individuals in the band and it wasn't as bad as everyone thought it was. It's definitely been blown out of all proportion. We obviously had arguments, but then again who doesn't. Sometime when you're working that closely with people you're literally living in each others pockets and it does become very testing and we did get on each others nerves sometimes. But it certainly was never nowhere near what it has been made out to me, so again that's a case of chinese whispers.
Q: After you left the band you got married to Jack. Is it the marriage and the kids, just the normal things that kept you strong throughout the past 12 months?
A: For definite. I'm from a very close family and family for me has always been the key to any happiness. All of my family are very important to me so I think when I was taken away from all that when Hear'say started that made me quite depressed which is why I walked away. Now that everything is back to normal and the kids are there and i'm married and all my home life if very settled. That is my foundation for becoming stronger and moving on.
Q: The media turned against you and Hear'say very quickly. When you'd sold your wedding pictures did you expect the huge backlash that came as a result?
A: Obviously when anybody sells pictures to magazines they always get a roasting from other tabloid journalists. A lot of people would probably turn round and ask me why we did it, but then again I didn't earn any money last year and I would have talked about my Wedding for free. I'm not going to sit here and say we didn't do it for the money because that would be a lie...the money helped, but we spent every penny on the Wedding. And like I said we would have talked about it for nothing, it was the best day of our life's, and we didn't see anything wrong with talking about it to a magazine about it because someone would have got the story anyway but made it their own.
Q: Why do you think that the bands such as Hear'say and then Girls Aloud and One True Voice just didn't work and then there is someone like Gareth Gates is around who still seems as strong as ever 12 months on?
A: You've got to remember that the majority of the record buying public is young girls and they fancy the pants off him. He's got a certain charm about him and Pop Idol really did work. While it's there he should grab it with both hands. Also he's making his own decisions and i'm doing that with my solo career so that I can fit things around my children and other responsibilities and it works really well.
Q: I guess your album "Standing Tall" is testament to coming out the other side. How was it going in the studio and co-writing songs for the first time?
A: I managed to co-write three of the tracks on the album as well as a lot of the B-sides. It's great to be able to be given the opportunity to write, but really I'm not that experienced on the writing side of things. If I had been greedy I could have sat there and said I want to write the whole album, but there's no saying that would have turned out brilliantly. It was really important that I got my music together this time and got the best sound I could because otherwise people wouldn't really care whether I'd written it or not.
I love all the tracks on the album, but "Standing Tall" is really a big track. It's my "I Will Survive" saying that this girl is standing tall, no matter what she's been through she's still there and still striving at it. That's very much how I feel about myself - I've come through a lot and I'm still around and intend to be for a long time.
"Cry" is out now on Universal Island
The album "Standing Tall" follows later in the year
For more info
Post your Kym Marsh reviews / comments on the Message Board