It's been over three years since Nicole Scherzinger finally released her solo debut album Killer Love.
However, stints on the US and British versions of The X Factor - which included shifts at Asda and Greggs, nonetheless - meant she had to temporarily delay the follow-up.
Talking to Digital Spy, Nicole explained her reasons for not returning to the talent show, why she had to scrap a whole album and the reason behind her Tom Odell songwriting sessions...
The UK public seem to be enjoying your new single 'Your Love'.
"Yeah, it's been quite positive. I've found out here that it's 'a grower'."
Why did you decide on that song?
"It's actually unlike any other song on my new album. It's more poppy. The other songs are pop, but they're more urban-pop. I just remember the feeling I got when I went back to my room and I just couldn't stop singing the song. It had a hold on me. I woke up and it was still lingering."
The music video looks like it was a long day on set.
"It always is when you're shooting a music video with me."
When you're frolicking around in the sea in front of a production crew, does it come naturally or is it hard work?
"It comes natural. It's the reason why we shot it on the beach. We took it back to my roots. I was in my element with the sun, the ocean and the sand. What really inspired me was Janet Jackson's video for 'Love Will Never Do'. You just fall in love with her and you feel like you see a beautiful side of Janet that you don't always get to see when she's on stage performing. My fans know that side of me, so I just wanted to make sure I gave that to them."
Can we expect some surprises on your new solo album?
"Absolutely. Because I've just worked with The Dream and Tricky and it is cohesive, we've created a sound. We found a sound. We found a Nicole sound. So when you hear a couple of the songs you'll be like, 'Woah, that doesn't sound like any other artist out there. Any other formula of song out there. Any other beat out there.' I feel like it's DNA'd to me."
How would you describe the Nicole sound?
"Midtempo, supercool, super-vibey, some of it's a little throwback to Janet Jackson Velvet Rope and some of it has early essences of Sadé, but it's current."
You've mentioned Janet Jackson a few times now, so we're guessing she's a big inspiration of yours?
"Janet? Who isn't inspired by Janet? She's a legend. My bigger inspirations were always the big singers. Whitney Houston was my biggest inspiration, but yeah, I mean Janet Jackson has definitely carved her lane in pop music."
You were in the studio with Tom Odell as well. Was that something for your album, or his?
"No, at the time I hadn't even worked with... If I'm honest, I wasn't working with Tricky and The Dream and hadn't been working on any music. I was going through a very rough time in my life. I was going through a break-up. As an artist, the only way I was able to escape from the pain and the hurt and the loss was to write - I was desperate.
"I was in a hotel and I was like, 'I need to get out of here and just write. Can you get me a piano player?' My assistant recommended Tom Odell. I went to the studio, met him and we wrote right away. It was awesome... it was f**king awesome. I love artists who have many different levels to them. Tom could be the very vulnerable singer-songwriter and then rock out. We could have a completely different version of the song."
What's going to happen with 'Boomerang', Nicole?
"It's just going to remain a stand-alone single. In fact I did an entire album that belongs with 'Boomerang'. It had its own family. Unfortunately I don't know if those songs will ever be heard, but that's just part of it. I have probably five albums, and I wonder if the songs will ever see the light of day. Maybe one day I'll just release songs for my fans? I don't want to confuse people. You have to be in the moment, and we're going with the sound that is right now - fresh and new to us."
It must be quite hard working on an entire album just to let it go?
"Yes, I've been doing this for how many years now? And do you know how many songs I wanted to put out that never came out? I'm used to it. In fact, I'm very protective of my babies, so now if they're not ready and I know people might not quite get it, yeah, I guess I do hold them close to me and say it's just not the right time for them. I think a lot of artists are like that.
"We don't just record 12 songs, we have a catalogue of songs. I remember I was in Ne-Yo's catalogue once and was like, 'What is this song - this is beautiful. This song is epic'. I don't know if they'll ever see the light of day. Who knows - maybe they'll go to other artists?"
What been the hardest lesson you've learned during your time in the music industry?
"It would be letting go. If you hold on to the fears or insecurities... I won't let go of my songs now. It would be letting go in general. I think that's the big reason kids look up to Miley Cyrus because she doesn't overthink - she just lets go. Letting go has a lot of meaning, and it's loaded when I say that. You've got to do it to get new skin, new beliefs, new songs, a new chapter and a new journey.
"I think being in the industry, great will always prevail, but it's hard. I guess you've just got to learn that you can't take it personal. You just never know which way it's going to go. Sometimes it's like, 'Why isn't Kodaline's last album the biggest album everywhere over the radio? Why wasn't my album released and it's not all over the radio?' It's having to take the twists and turns of the industry. The good and the bad."
How are you feeling about not returning to The X Factor this year?
"I was only ever meant to sign on for one year. I almost didn't come back for a second year, but because of that darn British public - I love them so much - I came back. I loved my job and I took great pride and put a lot of passion and hard work into working with the contestants. I loved my family of judges, but they weren't coming back and it had its time.
"I had also been so hungry for years to get back to the music. I never did the show to put out music. I've never put out an album from it, because people forget I'm from America as an international artist and so I have to work all of the territories. So when I was here for The X Factor, I couldn't fly back. I just don't do that. I didn't make one trip back to LA in three months.
"I've made the decision that it's time for my music. I'm not getting any younger. I always say, 'I look good under bright lights, but I've got to seize the moment now!' Being part of the show inspired me and made me more hungry for it, so now I have this new album, I'm ready to get back out on the road and tour. That's what I really want to do."
Nicole Scherzinger's new single 'Your Love' will be released in the UK on July 13.