The so-called Spice Girls reunion has been confusing to say the least, but at least Dubai’s Spice fans have something to be happy about – Melanie C is heading to the emirate later this month! Sporty Spice will be performing at the Blended festival on 20 April alongside the Backstreet Boys. A Spice Girl and the Backstreet Boys in one night?! WE. CAN’T. DEAL!
Ahlan! caught up with Melanie ahead of the show, where she told us what to expect from her performance, what she thinks of the UAE, her new venture as a DJ, and what’s REALLY going on with the Spice Girls reunion.
We’re thrilled to see you perform at Blended in Dubai. What can fans expect from your show?
We’ve got a 45 minute timeslot for the Dubai show, which is nice, because we can do a really punchy set, we can get loads of hits in there. I’ve had a long career and made loads of records, so there’s lots of songs I want to play, even spanning back to the mid-nineties. We have a really fun set we like to do for shows like this. We’ll probably do something similar that we do for festivals in the UK.
You had us at mid-nineties. That sounds like you’re throwing some Spice Girls hits into the equation…
[Laughs] That sounds about right! We’re going into rehearsals soon, and we’ve been talking over some songs we think could work really well, so we’ll throw together a really fun show for you guys.
You’ll be performing on the same bill as the Backstreet Boys. You must know them really well from back in the day when the Spice Girls and BSB ruled the charts?
It has been a long time since we first met them back in the nineties. Our paths crossed a lot in Germany, because both bands were really big over there, and we spent a lot of time doing TV shows and big live performances out there. In fact, I think once we even shared a dressing room! They’re really, really lovely guys and I’m looking forward to catching up with them.
Some of the Backstreet Boys have been campaigning on social media for a joint BSB and Spice Girls tour. What will you say to them if they corner you in your dressing room and ask you in person?
[Laughs] Of course I know there are a lot of people that want to see the Spice Girls back on stage together, and it would be a wonderful thing. But it’s not something that is planned to happen in the near future.
You sound like you have your Spice reunion answer rehearsed by now…
I get asked that question, generally, every single day, since the early noughties [laughs].
Fair enough! You’ve become a style icon in recent years. Do you look back and cringe at some of your older fashion choices?
Absolutely, I think everybody does. But the wonderful thing about fashion is that, at the time you think you look great, and then there’s this whole period of time where you’re like ‘what was I thinking?’ But then after 20 years, it looks great again! The nineties is having a big resurgence, so I’m like ‘I’m ahead of my time’ [laughs].
What’s been your most memorable solo concert ever, if you had to pick one?
That’s a good one. If been so fortunate in my solo career. I’ve even played some territories that the Spice Girls never got to. Even Dubai! I’ve made it down to Australia. I was in Brazil and Mexico last year, places where the Spice Girls never performed live. So it’s been nice to do things that I haven’t done with the girls.
As you mentioned, you’ve performed in Dubai before. Did you manage to previously see some of the UAE’s sights and sounds?
I was in Dubai many, many years ago. These trips are always quite brief. But like a lot of people in the UK, we loving coming to Dubai because the weather is glorious, and you have lovely restaurants. You know you’re going to have a sophisticated time, weather it’s dining, or partying, or just generally being looked after. So as you can tell, I’m very much looking forward to getting back out there.
Are you planning to do some sightseeing this time around?
I hope so. The trip is a little bit longer this time. With these things, you’re always dashing off to the next thing, but I think I have an extra day. I’ll have to do a little bit of research of what’s fun to do. Maybe you can help me out?
OMG, YAS! Deal. We also loved your last album, Version of Me. Any plans for a new release?
Yes, it’s going very well and I’m very excited. I’m working with a fantastic producer and having a lot of fun in the studio. I can’t say too much at the moment – I’m keeping my cards close to my chest. But it’s something I hope to release later this year. All I can say it’s going to be different to Version of Me. As you know I like to jump from one thing to the next. It’s very musical, not like musical theatre, but it has a real musicality to it. I’m working with a respected producer and I think it’ll be a nice surprise that people will enjoy.
Rumour has it you’re also becoming a DJ. What’s this all about?
Being a lover of music, I’ve always quite fancied it. Somebody approached me to see if I’d want to do it, and I thought, ‘you know what, I’ll give it a try’. It’s been really fun figuring out what I want to play and how I want to be as a DJ. And the era of music that’s really relevant to me, and there were so many great styles, is obviously the nineties. So I’ve been working on a nineties set, which is great, because it kind of spans dance music, more poppy stuff right through to clubby hard-core house and Britpop. It’s been really fun getting the dynamic of the set together, so that’s what I’ve been working on. My first DJ gig is in Paris next week. I’m nervous obviously, but if it goes well, I’ll hopefully do a lot more in the future. It’s really fun and another string to my bow.
Girl, if Paris Hilton can do it, we’re pretty sure you’ll do just fine.
[Bursts out laughing] Yeah…
Many of your fans have noticed that you’ve gone a bit quiet on social media lately. Why is that?
I had a really busy year last year, and this year I’ve been in the studio with the new album. I just wanted to take a break and give myself a little bit of a breather from social media. I sometimes find it a bit time consuming. I just wanted to step away for a little bit and come back fresh when I’m ready to start promoting my new work.
Before we go, we can’t interview you without asking about the latest Spice Girls reunion. There have been so many conflicting reports, we don’t know what to believe. Sorry to ask, but WHAT is going on?
It’s absolutely fine. I know people are curious, and no step of the way have we wanted to mislead people. We have come together, and we’re back with our previous manager Simon Fuller, and we are looking at opportunities. Animation is something we’ve talked about, an animated movie, a TV show potentially – nothing reality – this isn’t something that’s been discussed. And then, of course, the potential of performing together at some point. All of this is super early days, it’s still very much at the discussion stage. But it’s just really nice for us all to be back together, to kind of be under one roof. The Spice Girls legacy is so important to us. We just want to be positive and continue to inspire, not only young women, but people in general.
That makes us VERY happy. We can’t wait to see you on stage in Dubai.
I look forward to seeing you all there!
INFO: 20 April, Dubai Media City Amphitheatre, tickets for the event are now sold out