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MUSIC Mel B talks new song, 'Talent' and massages
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times

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Mel B is back—and, apparently, the "B" now stands for "busy."

The onetime ( and possibly future ) Spice Girl has been doing everything from serving as judge on TV's America's Got Talent to guest-hosting on the Today Show. Now, she has returned to her first love—music—with the infectious dance single "For Once In My Life."

Windy City Times: How are you doing today?

Mel B: I'm very good. I just dropped the kids off at school.

WCT: I've spoken with a lot of different people—but I don't believe I've talked with someone who's performed at an Olympics ceremony. You performed in front of billions of people last year in London.

Mel B: I'm glad nobody told us [The Spice Girls] that.

Don't forget that the Olympics is a charity-based event, so you don't get paid for it. It's very iconic. We just decided that it had been a while since we performed together so we made it happen.

WCT: So how nervous were you at that moment? You were used to performing in front of large crowds...

Mel B: Oh, it wasn't even the large crowds—I had the opening line! All the girls were like, "Do NOT screw this up, Melanie. If you don't get the timing right, the whole song is off." I was, like, "Damn!" It was kind of cute.

WCT: It seems like you're everywhere right now. I've seen you on the Today Show. Have you thought about getting your own talk show?

Mel B: You know, I'm always thinking about that. I've certainly thought about it, but is it actually going to happen? Who knows? It's kind of a hard one to pull off.

WCT: Who would like to interview?

Mel B: I've interviewed so many interesting people—Harrison Ford, Prince. I'm kind of spoiled in that department.

WCT: Switching over to music, when I heard the title of your new song I thought you were remaking the Stevie Wonder song.

Mel B: [Laughs]

WCT: Then I listened to it, and I've seen the video several songs. What is the song about?

Mel B: I just wanted to create a song, create a vibe. Listen to it and it makes you happy. For those three minutes and 30 seconds, I want you to let go and dance around your front room, or on a Friday night just dance around with your girlfriends before you go out. It's a feel-good song.

I finished a taping of America's Got Talent on a Tuesday around 11 p.m., and I went into the studio that night. I co-wrote it with some [people]. Three days later I did the video. Then I said, "I have a video and song—what do I do?" I have no major label backing me, no radio tour, no nothing—so I just released it.

WCT: I thought the video set looked familiar...

Mel B: Yeah—it's the Desperate Housewives set! I'm a big fan of this show. Also, I didn't want to go to four different locations because that could take forever to shoot.

WCT: There's also a scene in the video where you basically kiss yourself. I thought it was about self-acceptance.

Mel B: You know, however you want to take it you should take it. But the whole premise of the song is about feeling good about yourself. Who does want to kiss themself when you're feeling so great?

WCT: There's also a segment with your hair in the video. What's going on there?

Mel B: Oh, I just wanted to do something different. I wanted to make it into a bob and making it curly again. [Laughs]

WCT: And then you were on Ellen wearing that same outfit—while making the video.

Mel B: Yes. I went on Ellen during my lunch break. I popped over and did the interview.

WCT: So is there going to be a whole album?

Mel B: Well, because I'm not backed by a label I don't want to put pressure on myself. I'm in the studio tomorrow night. All I know is that I've got that fire in my tummy again. I hadn't had it in eight years. Now I've got that passion back; I just want to do more and more music.

WCT: When you did you first realize you had a gay following?

Mel B: It was with the Spice Girls when we had our first number-one song—and it was in Japan. Just looking at the diversity of fans: straight, gay, bisexual, trisexual. It was nice seeing people from so many walks of life, especially in a conservative country, showing us love. It was really nice.

WCT: I know many people prefer the Spice Girls hits like "Wannabe"although I'm a fan of the later songs like "Tell Me Why" and "Holler."

Mel B: Yes, we changed our music over the years, but I think it all works. We write our own music and it has to grow a little bit; you don't want to stay in the same place.

WCT: Absolutely—and the music becomes boring after a while. [Mel B laughs.]

By the way, I asked people on Facebook if they had questions for you. One person wanted to know how you'd characterize your time on America's Got Talent.

Mel B: I had such an amazing time. Heidi Klum has been my friend for the last 10 years so I already knew her. It was my first time meeting Howard [Stern] on set, but he interviewed me 18 years ago with the Spice Girls so I've kept kind of an on-and-off relationship with him over the years. We all got along like a house on fire; Howard invited us all over to his apartment, which he never does. My kids came down to the set and said hello—we created our own little vibe. We spent four days a week together.

WCT: So you'd definitely do another season?

Mel B: Oh, yeah—I hope they rehire me.

WCT: You've mentioned your kids. How much does having kids inform your career choices?

Mel B: I always say I have four different lives: the life with my kids, life with my husband, my life by myself ( as in relaxing ) and my career—in that order.

WCT: How do you find time to relax?

Mel B: Oh my God; I try to find time to do something, whether it's a mani-pedi or a facial.

WCT: That's great because people usually don't take enough time for themselves.

Mel B: It's about once or twice a month, but you have to look good. You have to have that facial! You have to have your nails done.

WCT: I think massages are great.

Mel B: I don't find massages relaxing at all. I work out so much that my body's kind of tense. Getting a massage can be painful—plus I find myself counting down until it's done.

WCT: To each his or her own, but I'll take a Thai yoga massage any day.

Mel B: [Laughs]

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