Jesy Nelson has signed a solo record deal with Polydor Records, just five months after quitting Little Mix.
“This is such a pinch-me moment,” said the 29-year-old, who plans to release her debut album later this year.
“I cannot wait for you guys to hear what I’ve been working on and to start this new chapter,” she added.
Nelson left Little Mix in December, saying she needed to protect her mental health. She later explained online abuse had left her at “breaking point”.
“I find the constant pressure of being in a girl group and living up to expectations very hard,” she said, adding that constant comparisons to her bandmates had affected her self-confidence.
“I was bigger than the other three, and there’s never really been that in a girl group,” she told Cosmopolitan magazine. “I was classed as the obese, fat one.”
Looking back, she said: “I can’t believe how miserable I was.”
Her former bandmates supported her decision, acknowledging it was “important” for Nelson to do “what is right for her mental health and well-being”.
At last week’s Brit Awards they dedicated their trophy for best British group to Nelson, as well as to their fans.
They have continued as a trio and released a new collaboration with dance artists Galantis and David Guetta, titled Heartbreak Anthem, on Friday.
Nelson has made no secret of wanting to pursue a solo career, documenting ongoing recording sessions on her Instagram account.
Among the people she’s teamed up with are platinum-selling producers Sunny and Patrick Jordan-Patrikios, who previously worked on such Little Mix tracks as Touch and Joan of Arc.
Polydor’s co-president Ben Mortimer said he had decided to sign Nelson immediately upon meeting her.
“She’s developed the sound for her next music beautifully,” he continued. “It’s true to her, and she has an authentic vision about what this next stage of her already incredible career should be.”
The star’s debut album is due out later this year.