It's been nearly 21 years since Melanie (Mel) C, first introduced to the world as the one and only Sporty Spice, released her debut solo album,
Northern Star. In that time, the singer has put out six additional albums, spanning the breadth of pop and rock with heavy influences from her self-proclaimed personal icon, Madonna. Her latest offering, the self-titled Melanie C, is out on October 2nd, with two singles already out: "In And Out Of Love," a downtempo disco dance track that complements its 2020 musical peers (think Future Nostalgia), and "Fearless" with UK Grime artist Nadia Rose, a song which Mel describes as "mellow and chilled" with "a really positive message."
"[Rose] was a fan of the Spice Girls growing up, and I'm a huge fan of hers," Mel tells
NYLON. "She's a very exciting young talent in British music. We got together and we started talking about being a woman in the industry, and how you have to be fearless to try to achieve your dreams and your goals. We just thought that was a really beautiful starting place for a song."
Though she's excited to be releasing a new project, Mel admits it's not the easiest time to be doing so. "The most difficult part of releasing new music during quarantine has been not having the opportunity to perform for people, to be in a room with people to have that contact and the exchange of energy when you're performing," she says. "Like all performers, we've had to be creative and find new ways of showcasing our music and keeping people entertained. So it's made me really reach out and find the positives in social media, really get a bit more technical, get into streaming, but I think something I've found quite positive is that it's been a way to stay connected to people."
Currently in London with her family, Mel has been hosting weekly
#ASKMELANIECLIVE livestreams, opening up to fans about music, Spice Girls nostalgia, mental health and staying sane during quarantine ("Having the chance to release my new music was really the thing that helped keep me sane," she says. "That and lots of rosé.")
Melanie C is available now for pre-order, you can also catch the singer perform four, full-band global livestream events where she will perform tracks from the record as well as giving fans a unique preview of her 2021 UK and European headline tour. Find tickets and more information here.
Melanie hopped on Zoom to complete the NYLON Nineteen questionnaire, during which she shared her go-to beauty tips, favorite current artist and the one question about the Spice Girls she never wants to be asked again.
What's your astrological sign, and do you believe in it?
I'm a Capricorn and I think I do have a lot of the traits that Capricorns are supposed to have. I'm determined, that hard-working, climbing up to the top of the mountain. And I have always enjoyed horoscopes and astrology. Not as much as Geri, obviously Ginger Spice. One of the very first questions whenever she meets anyone or the first guess she'll make about any person she meets is their star sign. So yeah. We've had a lot of fun with it over the years.
Do you believe in ghosts and have you ever seen one?
Well, I definitely believe there's a lot more going on than we know about. And I believe in energy, spirits and souls, and I do believe that people that have been in our lives can still be around. I mean, personally, I feel like I've always had someone watching over me or protecting me, which is a nice feeling. I think, as a kid, you can feel indestructible, but there are certain situations when I think, "Wow, I was lucky to get away with that." I do feel I've got a bit of a guardian angel.
What is your go-to drink order?
So my morning brew would be a latte. And if I was heading down to meet some friends at a bar, it would be a Tommy's Margarita. It was made in the US. It's always from a bar, isn't it, where it kind of originates from? Instead of the triple sec, they use agave syrup. It feels quite virtuous, because you go, "Oh it's agave, it's healthy."
Who would be the three headliners of the music festival of your dreams?
Well, Madonna is going to have to be there without a doubt. I've been a huge Madonna fan since I was a kid. I think I discovered her in about '84, '85, "Like a Virgin" days. She's the artist I grew up thinking, "That's exactly what I want to do." Big theatrical shows, the dancers, costumes, choreo, I absolutely loved her. And then I would love to see Queen with Freddy Mercury. I never had the opportunity to meet him; sadly he passed away before. I met all of these incredible heroes and icons, being with he Spice Girls, though he's my number one just favorite performer. I just think he was almost superhuman, vocally and physically, the way he expressed himself on stage. So that would be another. And then, oh, this is so much fun because there's so many great people to choose from. You know who I'm going to pick? I'm going to go with somebody young and fresh, exciting and extraordinary. I'm going to go with Billie Eilish. I saw her at Shepherd's Bush Empire, which is a pretty small venue here in London, 2000 capacity theater. She just blew the roof off and I would love to see her at a festival.
What is a bad habit of yours that you've been meaning to fix?
I do this disgusting thing where I, when I'm anxious, I like crack all of my knuckles. It's a hard habit to break.
What's the last internet rabbit hole that you went down?
Well, I recently did some renovations in my house, so I am just down soft furnishings holes, which I think are safe ones to go down, right? I live with somebody who is really interested in alternative theories about things. And so I see firsthand how that can take you into some pretty dark places. So yeah, mine is much more manageable.
Describe your worst date in three words.
Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh, no. Awkward. Awkward. I can't even think. Awkward. I want to say painful. Awkward, painful, and regretful. Yeah, that was a bad date, right?
What was the last DM you received?
So it's going to be something pretty tedious. It's actually from Perez Hilton. That's really funny because literally my DMs are packed with charity requests and fans, and the occasional celebrity, but at the very top is Perez. He was just asking about my single, In and Out of Love because he's on TikTok. He said, "Just get it on TikTok."
If you could be in any music video, what would it be?
I mean, I like a good dance music video where people have really great dance routines. Okay. So this is going back a little bit now. I think maybe it was '97 or '98 in the UK the Spice Girls released a song called
"Stop," and it was our only single that didn't get to number one. And the thing that beat it to number one was Run DMC featuring Jason Nevins, and the video was like a dance-off between two dance crews. That one. What was your first concert and what do you remember from it?
My first concert was so bizarre. I was visiting family in Canada. I can't remember where we were. There was a Frankie Valli concert, Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. I mean, this is in the '80s, right, so even then it was kind of like, "Okay.' Mum was a really big fan, I didn't know who the hell he was, but it was a very good show. But then I'm happy to say the next concert I went to was Madonna at Wembley Stadium.
What was your favorite movie as a child? ET. Hands down. It's probably one of my favorite movies as an adult. I adore Drew Barrymore and that movie, it just, I think I must have seen it at an age where it just really affected me. And I love it as well because obviously it was made in the '80s, so just all those cultural references and the fashion. And even just the way people's homes looked and everything, I think it takes me back to a nostalgic childhood place. What was your AIM screen name back in the day, if you had one?
What's AIM? I never did that. [
Ed note: she may have been too busy touring the world with the Spice Girls.] What is your go-to song for when you're feeling sad after a breakup or just in general?
Oh, now I have kind of two things I like to do. I have two sad moods. I have one where I want to wallow in self-pity. So I will listen to Fiona Apple. All of her heart and soul, she completely just explodes into her music. But then if you want to have a pickup and have a good dance, I tell you what always gets me on the dance floor is Beyoncé's "Crazy in Love." That's the one song I cannot sit still too.
What is something that everyone should buy that's under $10?
A water bottle, a reusable water bottle. Though the only problem I have with reusable water bottles is I leave them in places all the time. So, a reusable water bottle that's kind of on a lanyard.
What is a piece of clothing that you had when you were younger that you wish you had kept?
Oh my gosh. Everything from the '90s. Can you imagine? I'm finding myself rebuying the trainers I had in the '90s. Man. And even some really beautiful designer pieces now as well, I just, I gave away to friends. They had a lovely time wearing them and then they've passed them on again, and I just think, "Those things would be so fierce right now."
What is one question you never want to be asked again?
I do get asked the same questions quite often, but the one that is a bit frustrating is ,"Do you still see the other girls?" I'm like, "Of course I do." Yep. That one. Everyone wants to talk about the Spice Girls, which I love. And I'm super proud to be a Spice Girl. I love talking about it. But then when people ask me if we still see each other, or if we're still in touch, it just seems like a really dumb question because, why wouldn't we be?
What reality show would you most like to appear on?
Dancing With The Stars classed as a reality show? I think that one would petrify me, but it would be really lovely to learn how to dance like that. What is your best beauty tip or trick?
Always take your make-up off. Always, always, always, always. Drink lots of water, especially when you're traveling, because it's so dehydrating. Do you know what I love? A silk pillowcase, they're so lovely. I got one a couple of years ago and I literally can't have any other kind of pillow case now. When you wake up in the night and you kind of turn over and it's all cold, and silky smooth and you're like, "Mm." And they're supposed to be really good to stop wrinkles, so yeah.
What is your favorite pair of shoes that you own and why?
Oh my gosh. Actually I'm wearing them on my album cover. I bought them a few years back. They're Chanel ankle boots with a great heel and they're sparkly, like a pewter gray. And then they have that Chanel black toe. They are the perfect shape, they go with everything and they're comfortable. If I ever have them in my luggage, I have to take them with me. I can't put them in the hold. They're too precious to me and they cannot be replaced.