Pussycat Dolls Nicole Scherzinger exclusive

Mar 17, 2009 at 2:35 p.m. ET

Pussycat Dolls lead singer Nicole Scherzinger shares the inside secrets to Doll domination. Scherzinger admits that the Pussycat Dolls' current single, Jai Ho (You Are My Destiny) from Slumdog Millionaire, is Scherzinger's most personal artistic effort to date.

Nicole Scherzinger is dominating pop music

Pussycat Dolls go Slumming

Scherzinger teamed with two-time Oscar winner A.R. Rahman and producer Ron Fair (Fergie and Christina Aguilera) to craft an English interpretation of the Oscar winner for Best Song, Jai Ho!

Nicole called after the first of two Britney shows in Long Island, New York. To describe the experience a Circusis an understatement, Nicole says!

The Pussycat Dolls have sold over 6 million records internationally. And to think they are simply getting started. The band that is known for Buttons and When I Grow Up has expanded their musical reach exponentially with their Slumdog Millionaire tribute, Jai Ho!

We have a preview of the song below, but first, Nicole speaks to the power of the Slumdog Millionaire sensation, opening for Britney Spears on her Circus tour and what's next for the Pussycat Dolls in their ongoing effort for global Doll Domination.

SheKnows: Your version of Jai Ho!, considering the timing of when it debuted – had to be put together before the Oscars. So, when it won, you must have been ecstatic.

Nicole Scherzinger: Wow, actually when I got the news that Jai Ho had won the Oscar for best song, it was five in the morning in Vienna Austria and I was doing last final scene of shooting the video for Jai Ho! (You Are My Destiny). I was in tears. I was happy for everyone that was a part of the Slumdog Millionaire family and far A.R. Rahman, especially for the recognition and the great work that they put out there. It was so awesome. Then, to think we already knew, it didn't matter if it won the Oscar or not, how great the movie and the song was -- which is why we had already done it. To think we were finishing the video and it was an Oscar award-winning song that we just re-invented, it was just...I was speechless. I was in such awe.

SheKnows: Talk about destiny, right?

Nicole Scherzinger: Yeah (laughs).

The Pussycat Dolls continue to dominate

SheKnows: What was it like working with A.R., albeit from afar?

Nicole Scherzinger: Unfortunately, we couldn't actually be together because I was overseas on tour with the Pussycat Dolls doing our Doll Domination European tour, I believe AR was in Miami. I met him over Skype (laughs). He was the first person I met over Skype (laughs).

SheKnows: Nice!

Giving an Oscar winner its due

Nicole Scherzinger: I got to tell him thank you for letting us work on the song. It was an honor and we'll try to do it justice. Then Ron Fair and I re-worked the song to our best ability. I dug away in the studio for the whole week while I was on tour -- in a studio during the day and doing shows at night.

SheKnows: It is honestly a brilliant piece of work. I haven't heard an update song like your that captures the soul of the original like you did with Jai Ho!

Nicole Scherzinger: Thank you! That is the probably the greatest compliment. We already knew how great the song was in the original form. We weren't trying to beat it or make it anything that we want. For me, I was honored to be the voice of it and to have written the lyrics for it. Because I knew how much the movie had an impact on me and the song itself, what it meant to me. I just put it into my own lyrics. Ron Fair was there every step of the way. I feel like that shined through because people can tell when it's contrived and it's not real. I didn't know if people would like it or not. But, we did it for different reasons, for a higher purpose. It blows my mind still that people are listening to it and they request it. We're just so grateful. I guess, like you said, it was destiny.

SheKnows: It really is, it's haunting. It's one of those songs I listen to over, and over, and over.

Nicole Scherzinger: Thank you so much because I worked so hard on that song – every background, every note, every chant ,every line, we put a lot of care and heart into it because we know the heart and soul behind it already.

Passage to India

SheKnows: It's such a deep and incredible film. What about it truly touched you?

Nicole Scherzinger: The story was profound. I don't know many people who've seen a story like that, a love story so powerful. I said to myself when I finished the film, 'I don't care who you are or where you come from, what you've seen or done in your life, you will be touched, and this film will have an impact on you. The film is monumental. It's...I'm always speechless when I talk about it (laughs). I just love the story. The characters, the acting, and the way they told the story was so raw and so primal, you were right there. It was a little scary. Actually, I was scared most of the time. It was too real. It was trippy because when I was in the studio singing and writing it, I felt like I was in the movie. I felt like I was Latika.

Nicole and the Pussycat Dolls do Jai Ho!

SheKnows: For you guys what was it like filming the video for Jai Ho? It's almost a page from the film and the costumes you all got to wear. What a blast!

Nicole Scherzinger: They were so much fun (laughs). We got to do our own interpretation of a Western-Indian hybrid style wardrobe. I love the colors. I got to wear bindis! I feel like the movie was an extension to where the movie took off at the end.

Nicole Scherzinger singing Jai Ho liveSheKnows: Oh, totally.

Nicole Scherzinger: Yeah, it's a triumph, jubilation at the end. We got to do our own song and dance.

A different Doll

SheKnows: Have the Dolls been able to perform the song out on the road right now opening for Britney?

Nicole Scherzinger: You know what! We just did Long Island here in New York and it was the very first time we debuted the song in front of a live audience. I was so nervous.

SheKnows: Oh, I bet.

Nicole Scherzinger: Everybody knows us for Loosen Up My Buttons, and Don't Cha and this is a little different song for us. It's so close to my heart, you know when it's your baby, you're afraid to put it out there. I was introducing it. I said, 'this is our new single. I don't know if you've heard of the movie Slumdog Millionaire.' Right when I said that, everyone freaked out. I thought, 'I'm going to be OK. We're in good hands.' These people have a lot of heart and soul. We did it, the music and the entire venue just resonated.

SheKnows: You're giving the audience a chance to feel a part of that film again.

Nicole Scherzinger: I love that you said that -- so true.

Enjoying Britney's Circus

SheKnows: While I have you, how is the tour with Britney doing right now?

Nicole Scherzinger: Um, (laughs), it's great. We've only been on tour for a little over a week and it feels good to be back in the U.S. We love our international fans, but it's great to be able to open up for Britney and get back to connecting with our fans here. The Pussycat Dolls are still hustling. We put on the best show we can, man! People get their money's worth. We are sweating by the end of the first song, so…

Nicole and her Pussycat Dolls open for Britney Spears

SheKnows: Are you guys working on any new material?

Nicole Scherzinger: We're actually repackaging the Pussycat Dolls album and it's coming out March 31. We have new songs including Jai Ho! That's out soon. Then we'll be Doll Dominating again. We're going to Doll dominate Australia and then Asia where Lady Gaga is coming back out with us.

SheKnows: Sweet!

Nicole Scherzinger: I think after that, we might take a little break. I know I have some things in line that I want to do. I'm sure the other girls do as well.

SheKnows: Are we going to hear any more of your solo material in the next couple of years?

Nicole Scherzinger: Definitely, I'm still working on it. The good thing is I'm a relentless perfectionist and the bad thing is I'm a relentless perfectionist (laughs). I want the music to be right. You only get to come out with your first solo album one time. It's all about timing. That's why I feel so fortunate to be a part of Jai Ho!because it is a Pussycat Dolls song featuring Nicole Scherzinger, because this is me. It's my sound. To be able to have the hand I've been able to have in creating this song – people get to know me a little bit more through the soul and the spirit of the song.

SheKnows: That certainly comes through – Nicole, thank you so much and all the best for continued success.

Nicole Scherzinger: Thank you so much. I want to thank all of our Pussycat Doll fans and the Nicole fans – never loose faith.

Preview the song here.

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