In the latest episode of Essentials Radio on Apple Music 1, Zane Lowe is joined by Melanie C who reflects on the possibility of a Geri reunion, how the break-up of the original Spice Girls impacted her, sexism in the music industry, her struggles with depression and more. She also discusses the stories behind the group’s biggest hits, including “Wannabe”, “2 Become 1” and “Stop”.
Melanie C Tells Apple Music About A Possible Reunion with Geri
Yeah, it's hard. We found it hard last year and we did really miss her. But you're right, we're still really close. And it's so important to us that she is happy with everything. She was very involved in the creative and everything that we were doing in the show. And I think she really found it difficult. That first night, when the pictures were beamed all over the world, it was hard for her. And we're hoping it was hard enough to bring her back. It's so hard, and I feel for her. And the thing is now, we have come to this point in our lives where we do, we really respect each other. And we never want anyone to do anything they don't feel comfortable doing. But yeah, we might have to get her hypnotized. I have to say, I feel like she's coming around. So we'll keep working on her. But just between you and me.
Melanie C Tells Apple Music The Group Felt 'Let Down' by Geri's Departure
There was mixed emotions about it. I think we were shocked at the time and obviously hurt and upset, but in all honesty, we did understand. We were in this pressure cooker and she needed to get away. She needed some space and as hard as it was, it was what she had to do. And even though at the time it was hard for us, we had to respect that. It was a big shock to us. Even though obviously we knew, we were all struggling in our own ways. It was tough. This schedule is hardcore. So we were all dealing with it in the best way that we could. And that's what she had to do. The timing sucked. We were two shows away from completing the European leg of our tour. We had a three-month tour to do in the US. Why would you leave at this point? The most exciting thing. But we all have different areas of being a Spice Girl that really we're passionate about. For me, I'm a live artist. I love to get out there. I love to play. And different people have different priorities in what they do. And for her, she had to take care of number one. That was the thing right then. We didn't have contact with her for some time. It was hard. We were angry. We were angry with her and we were disappointed and we felt let down, but time heals and we all got older and we all moved on and yeah, it's just water under the bridge now. We've had so many ups and downs in our friendships, in our careers, in our lives as Spice Girls. And just that acceptance that we are all absolute pains in the backside, but we love each other dearly.
Melanie C Tells Apple Music About Saying Goodbye to The Original Spice Girls
I feel Geri's departure was the beginning of the end. Obviously the Spice Girls will live on forever, but it was the end of that phase. It was the end of the craziness and Goodbye was completely and utterly inspired by Geri's departure. I think that's very clear for the listener and it was really difficult to sing. It still is actually. It was interesting performing that song on stage with her. She gave us her big public apology at Wembley Stadium last year, which we didn't expect, which was a bit of a moment, but yeah. It's a beautiful song. Again, another Matt and Biff wonderful collaboration. Pop song writing at its best and yeah. That's it. I love that song actually. That's one of my faves. I mean, I don't know how much of what went on behind the scenes in those closing months is known to the public, but it was really hard and personally for me, I needed some space, some time away. I needed to sort myself out and yeah. I think we all needed a little bit of time away from each other, which we did and now when we come back together, it's really beautiful because we have so much more appreciation of what we did, what we achieved and each other.
Melanie C Tells Apple Music She Wanted to Be In The Group 'For Life'
We never thought beyond the band, or maybe some members of the band did. Maybe some people had a bit more of a game plan. Personally, I was in it for life, Spice Girls for life. And we were on this incredible journey, album number two. We wrote a lot of Spice World in a mobile studio on set, on the movie. It was crazy. And a lot of that album was inspired by what we'd experienced, and we really had travelled the globe. And four or five girls, most of us from a working class background, had never had the opportunity to see the places, stay in the places that we had as Spice Girls. So we came home, we went to the Brits 1997. It was the big coming home. It was the night of the Spice Girls. It was the Union Jack dress. I think we won three awards, and that to us was like we were being celebrated. We'd come home and everybody was proud of us, and we'd flown the flag around the world. And so it was so perfect and so fitting to us that we wanted to just acknowledge that global feel that we had as a band. Yeah, I mean the washing machine is a great image actually, because your world is turned upside down and it's so hard because it's everything you ever dreamed of, but nothing can prepare you for that. As a young person in the nineties, you weren't used to people throwing their opinions at you; criticizing you, the way you look, the way you dress, the way you behave, your talent or lack of it, but that was hard and you start to be treated differently. And not only you, it affects everybody in your life, your family, your friends. We were in a bubble. We spent probably two years, our feet didn't touch the ground. We were away from home, our families, our friends, but we were on this mad adventure, this crazy ride so I wouldn't change any of it.
Melanie C Tells Apple Music About "2 Become 1” and Sexism In The Music Industry
We felt like we had this opportunity, we had a platform. We quite early on encountered some sexism in the music industry and that gave us something to shout about. We wanted to talk about equality, we wanted to talk about girl power. And we also felt we were young. We had important messages that we could maybe get out to people, and 2 Become 1 is about safe sex. It's about having love and romance, but being sensible and being careful, which is a very important message for young people the world over. And yeah, I love that it's a beautiful ballad, and that message it isn't kind of ... You know, there's lots of terminology I don't want to use because it sounds like an innuendo. But it's - I don't ram it down your throat and I don't want to - But it was very sensitively put, not everybody would immediately get what the song was truly about, what the message was from the song, but it was beautiful to have a gorgeous ballad that had some depth.
Melanie C Tells Apple Music About Personal Struggles with Depression
You know what, I feel emotional when I talk about this in the right space. I was diagnosed with depression in 2000, and I was suffering with that, which I didn't understand, or know, but I was also battling an eating disorder and I had been for a couple of years. When I talked about it for the first time I don't think I was ready, actually. I felt like I was in a time in my life as a Spice Girl where my life wasn't truly my own. I felt like I had this duty to reveal everything about myself, and I feel like I was too vulnerable, and I was still trying to find my way through that. Then I spent many years regretting that I'd spoken so soon, because people always want to talk about it, which is good, and it's important, but not everybody - I hadn't done the work. You know what it's like. You can be sitting for hours on end speaking to numerous interviewers, and to talk about these struggles all day long it's f-king depressing. You know, it's hard.
Because of the problems I had my appearance changed, I put on weight. I didn't look great, I was unwell, and I was so embarrassed because everything I was going through. I was ashamed. I was ashamed because the control was gone. I'd lost my self control, so I had to tell everybody. I had to make my excuses. As time went on and I realized that people had actually benefited positively from me being open and honest I started to feel good about it, and I started to get stronger, and I started to heal. You know what, depression never goes away. It's always in the wings. It's always there. It can creep in sometimes, but now I've got the tools, and I don't want to be arrogant enough to think it's never going to get me.It's complicated, and I'm so happy to see we do talk about it more openly. I want to take away the shame, I want to take away the stigma because we're humans. At the end of the day, wherever you come from, whatever background you have, whatever your likes and dislikes and beliefs are, we are human beings. We all want, and we all need, and we all deserve the same things. We all deserve to be happy. We all deserve to be loved and to love. That's it. That's the be all and end all. There are so many things that keep us apart. These are the things that need to keep us together.