When it came to deciding which old features we should dust off and bring back to life for our special 100th issue, we just knew it had to be Celebrity Singles. And who better to review the biggest hits from the past decade than an Actual Real Life Spice Girl. Yep! Now handing over to Sporty Spice herself, Melanie C…
Arctic Monkeys - R U Mine?
The video is introduced by Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols, which is funny because I know Steve, he actually played on my second solo album. Arctic Monkeys can do no wrong in my eyes. I think this is them at their best: I love it when everything sounds a bit dirty, a bit rough around the edges.
I saw them when they did Glasto, which I think was on the ‘AM’ album campaign, and they’re amazing, they’ve got such a good attitude and such personality and Alex’s lyrics are just brilliant - great observations. Being able to sing such kind of everyday, mundane, observational lyrics but just make them sound so fucking poetic, do you know what I mean?
Daft Punk - Get Lucky
It could’ve got to be so overplayed, but it never did, because it’s so mellow - even though it’s a dance track and it’s Daft Punk. It’s amazing to have this kind of collaboration - Daft Punk have mixed perfect DP with perfect Pharrell and perfect Nile Rodgers, and they’re doing their thing in the absolute best way. When it comes together it’s just so beautiful and it’s almost like being in a bath of warm syrup or something. It just works so beautifully. It evokes great memories of going out and having fun to it - [‘Random Access Memories’] was a great album, and [this is] a great track off it.
Skepta - Shutdown
I’m mid-education with grime. I just did a collaboration with Nadia Rose and I love her. I saw her in a documentary, and about a week later I was DJing and she was there and she came running after me to say that she was a massive Spice Girls fan as a kid. I was like, ‘this is too spooky cause I’ve been thinking about you and now you’re in front of me,’ so I took the opportunity and called her up and asked if she wanted to get in to the studio and see what came of it and she was like ‘Fuck yeah!’ So yeah that was really exciting!
But back to the song and Skepta. My other half is a massive grime fan and he was giving me a full education on Skepta and this track. In his mind it was a real breakthrough song; not just for Skepta but for bringing grime into the mainstream. What I love about it - and what my boyfriend does - is that it feels like a real true and honest representation of life in Britain right now. I just love this sound and it’s so strong, he’s really able to get those lyrics across.
The 1975 - The Sound
This is a bit of a weird one for me. For some reason I’ve missed the meteoric rise that they’ve had. But I get the feeling, even though I don’t know much about them, I get the vibe that it’s a bit marmite? I loved this song; it’s very accessible, like very pop rock. It’s got serious ‘80’s vibes. Being an ‘80’s kid it’s quite comforting to hear that electro 80’s sound with a traditional guitar solo. It’s a tune, but I think lyrically it’s a little bit pretentious… [But] you need characters in music. If everyone was really well behaved it would be really fucking boring. That’s why people like Liam Gallagher - who comes out with some of the most outrageous remarks but is fucking brilliant. So yeah, I was looking at this song and they do come across as pretentious but hats off to the dude - if he can come out with stuff like that... There’s a lot of meaningless bollocks out there in music - people just getting things to rhyme so good luck to him.
Lorde - Green Light
Big. Fucking. Tune! I’m a big fan of Lorde, I think she’s amazing. What I love about this particular song is that there’s so much, almost, bile in it. I love the build up, it’s so beautifully produced. In the beginning it’s just her vocal against the piano and then it has a really sensitive build, with the electronics coming through, and it feels like it just keeps building and building, and then it comes right down for that second verse. There’s a really subtle thing where it doesn’t really come back to the exact same place and I just think that works really beautifully with what I think the lyric means and what the song is all about.
Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus - Old Town Road
I think you can’t not like it. My daughter is 11 and obviously she’s all over TikTok, and this is a big ol’ TikTok song. And I fucking love [the Billy Ray Cyrus] story, what a legend! What I’ve got from knowing this song - what I’m so impressed with - is the mix of genres. Back in the ‘60’s or ‘70’s you were part of a tribe and you listened to one type of music, but now there’s so many crossings of genres. And this was the fucking biggest hit of 2019. I just fucking love that, just two fingers up to everyone.
Billie Eilish - bad guy
[Billie is] so young but she has so much wisdom and she’s so fucking great - almost to the point that I don’t think that even she realises how special she is. She’s just fucking blessed. Finneas’ production is so original, and clean, and simple, and minimal - but so fucking massive at the same time. And obviously her voice is just fucking angelic and then the lyrics are great. Obviously ‘bad guy’ is really a fun track and that was one for my daughter. She was listening to Little Mix, and then she heard ‘bad guy’, and then Little Mix were out the window and it’s all about Billie Eilish now. I had the opportunity to get back on stage with Spice Girls last year and we’re becoming more and more aware of the effect that our music had. I feel like it’s permeated through society and I truly believe that the Spice Girl effect is a thing. I absolutely do believe that young girls and young people are growing up much more sure of themselves and knowing that if you put your mind to something you can achieve it.
Cardi B ft. Megan Thee Stallion - WAP
I’m really on the fence because I totally appreciate the strength and the absolute honesty of these women expressing their sexuality but I also want to protect my daughter from hearing these things. I think it’s fucking brilliant, and I fucking love Cardi B, but I think this is the problem as well - both me and my daughter are massive Cardi B fans, so it’s like when a new tune drops we wanna listen to it but... [So perhaps the verdict there is for grown ups - great! 11 year olds - not so much. - Ed]
New album 'Melanie C' is out now via Red Girl Media.
As featured in the September 2020 issue of DIY, out now.