"One of my life lessons is if you are really just yourself and honest and pure, that's what makes you unique and confident," the singer tells PEOPLE exclusively

By Melody Chiu
October 05, 2016 06:55 PM
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Credit: Mattel, Inc.

Twelve years after releasing her debut solo album Love. Angel. Music. Baby., Gwen Stefani is creating a whole new world for kids inspired by everything she loved growing up — including the world of Harajuku.

“It’s been such a weird project for me because it has been such a long dream,” she says of her new Nickelodeon show, Kuu Kuu Harajuku, which premiered this week on the network. “It’s so fun and I’m so proud of it.”

It’s no surprise the beauty and fashion mogul, 47, was “such a girly girl growing up,” she says. “I loved makeup and hair and dressing up and fantasy and playing house. I was so into all that stuff, so I feel like after all these years I’ve been able to experience being a mother now and being a female in an all mans’ kind of world of touring and music. It’s fun to be able to now put everything I love into something I think all little girls will love.”

The show follows Love, Angel, Music, Baby and G (see a first peek at the Kuu Kuu Harajuku fashion doll line coming out in the spring from Mattel above) — who form the musical group HJ5 — and the characters all have “unique, individual personalities,” says Stefani.

“I think what’s really important and is one of my life lessons is if you are really just yourself and honest and pure, that’s what makes you unique and special and attractive and confident,” she says. “We wanted to say that there’s all these different girls with totally different strengths and weaknesses, but when they come together, that’s what their real strength is.”

After pouring her heart into her hit album This Is What the Truth Feels Like last year, “it was really refreshing for me coming off a record that was honest and real and deep and have another outlet where anything goes,” says Stefani.

Kuu Kuu Harajuku (which is co-created and executive produced by Stefani) will continue airing this week at 4 p.m. and return to its regular timeslot on Saturdays at 9 a.m. on Nickelodeon.