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Insider Spice: Messages From The Girls

Yesterday I had a lovely day. I went to the Chicken Shed theatre to record a track in the studios there. The track's called Sometimes (Song For Mum) and it was written by Paula Rees, who writes all the Chicken Shed musicals and plays. What's incredible is that Paula's wheelchair bound; she can't move much or talk or anything, but still manages to express herself creatively in the most amazing way, using her fingers and a headpiece connected to a computer. She's really, really talented. The track I recorded is going to be on an album of Paula's music and poems, which will be out next Spring. I think Gabrielle and Cliff Richard are also going to do tracks and some quite famous actors will be reading out her poems as well.

It was such an unbelievable day. Paula's a really beautiful girl. I was a little bit nervous and kept saying,"Are you sure it's okay? Do you like the way I've done it??" She answered by smiling while I was singing the track. She's great. I met loads of other people while I was there, including a group of BTEC performing arts students, and when I was leaving, one of the workers there said, "If ever you get bored with what you're doing, please come and work for us!" She offered me a job!!!

I've been working hard on my album again and I'm nearly there now. I'm going to America to work with Jam and Lewis and that'll be the last writing I do. Then we'll have to get all the songs together and decide which ones to throw away, which is really hard because when they're your own, you love them all. But you have to do it! They mean so much to you, but you have to admit it when something's not good enough to go on the album. After that, we'll start looking for people who can mix the tracks. Then I have to choose a single, sort out the artwork and shoot a video. At the moment I've got no idea what the first single will be. Sometimes when I'm driving along, a song will come in my head amd I'll think, well if that's come into my head then it's got to be a single! But then the next day I'll be singing a different one and get confused! Still, I've got loads of ideas for pictures and videos and stuff like that. When I'm writing the songs I actually think about the videos to go with them. I love coming up with mad ideas and dance routines.

Of course, we've all been doing lots of Spice stuff, too. Did you hear that Holler was played 6,600 times in one week on The Box in America?! Wicked! I was reading in the paper the other day that UK acts are not doing at all well in America, and that the last acts to do well there were in the 80s. They didn't mention the Spice Girls once, isn't that strange? Anyway, I'm off to New York next week with Victoria to do promotion out there. We'll be appearing on morning programmes like Kathy and Regis and The Today Show and stuff like that, then we're presenting the VH1 fashion awards for the UK. It's going to be hard work! We'll be in New York for 4 or 5 days then I go off to Canada on my own to do some more promotion. We're seperating so that we can cover more ground. The Melanies aren't going because Mel B's in Japan promoting her album and Mel C's touring. We've told her to shout, "Spice Girls Holler" while she's on stage, though. We'd love to do the promotion together but unfortunately we're all over the place! Hopefully, there'll be an album launch party. (Well, Mel and I will have one anyway!). I went to see Mel C perform at Shepherds Bush and I have to say she was absolutely amazing. I really want to see her again at Wembley Arena, but it's on fireworks night, which is a big night for my family, so I'll have to see how it goes. And have you heard Mel B's album? It's brilliant and I actually train to it most days - I love every track!

Today I'm doing an interview for Sky One, so I'd better go in a minute. They've interviewd each one of us and then they'll edit it all together into a half-hour special to be shown around Christmas time. Then I'm doing an interview for Spin, which is an American magazine. Phew! See you next time,

lots of love


Mel B

All the Spice stuff is happening, which is great! We had a wicked launch party - the music was good, everybody's friends and family were there and I didn't mix my drinks, which meant I didn't have a hangover. Phew!

Next week we're off to the MTV awards in Stockholm, which is going to be brilliant. We're performing Holler and we'll be wearing black leather, so it should be a good laugh. Last week I went to see Mel C's gig, which was excellent. It was amazing to see her up there and it have me that buzz back - I just want to be up on stage again!

My next single is Feel So Good, a remix of the first track on my album. I was going to release it in December but now it's going to be the end of February, which is a better time to put it out. I need a little bit of time off because I've been working solidly for a long time now. And there's all the Spice stuff to concentrate on as well!

I've already shot the video for Feel So Good. I went to LA to make it, because I really wanted it to have a sunny vibe. Unfortunately, it was raining non-stop when I got there. I was going to film it in the desert, but the whole area was flooded and nobody was allowed to go there, so in the end, we filmed it in a big old house that's about to be demolished. It's really cool, very seventies, with a corridor running all the way around the inside wall. I'm not going to say much more - you'll have to wait and see, (but I do have a little rubadub thing with this guy in it and there's a raunchy party scene too!) It's quite a mature video and I've got straight hair in it. I used Tony again, the choreographer who worked with me on Tell Me, so he came out to LA with me too. He's great.

Did I tell you someone's made a documentary about me? It's going to be good hopefully. I think it shows me in a different light to the one people usually see. People think i'm loud and scary, but this shows the down-to-earth side of me. It goes out first on BBC Choice on the 18th of November and then it'll be on BBC 2 around the 10th of December, so don't miss it!! After the BBC 2 transmission, they're showing FISH - the short film I got involved with earlier this year (the one I played a fishwife in). So that should be interesting - I haven't even seen the final edit yet!

In a few weeks time, I'm having a party at my house in aid of Blackliners. As I think I've mentioned before, Blackliners provides services and information to people of African, Asian and Caribbean origins living with or affected by HIV and AIDS. Well, since I'm one of the Blackliners patrons, earlier this year I agreed to have a big party to raise money for the charity. All kinds of people are coming and there's going to be a salsa band and an auction of loads of other things going on. I've told everyone to dress "bright and funky", so it should be a really good laugh. I can't wait for it! I'll tell you about it all in the next issue!

Phoenix is lovely - she's learning things by the minute. She's nearly talking in sentences now, which is amazing. I really love spending time with her, so I'm really looking forward to having some time off. I'm not going anywhere special - I just want to hang out with Phoenix for a while.

See you soon! Hope you love Forever as much as we do!


I had a great time in America last week! I was finishing off my album with two guys called Soulshock and Karlin who wrote Heartbreak Hotel for Whitney Housten and stuff with Toni Braxton. They're really cool guys - they're actually Danish but they've been living in LA for 12 years. I was recording in the same studio that Melanie B and Melanie C have been in recently, and also Bruce Springsten! I recorded two songs while I was out there and I'm going back in December to do some more.

I was working till two or three in the morning, as well as doing loads of promotion for the Spice Girls. Although it was busy, it was a really good week. I took my mum and David's mum to look after Brooklyn and they went to Disneyland and to the zoo and things like that. One day David called and asked what Brooklyn was doing. I said,"He's going to Rodeo Drive for lunch and then the zoo." As the woman in the car said, "Brooklyn hasn't got a bad life!" Still, we had really bad problems with photographers out there. They kept taking pictures of Brooklyn and most of them ended up in Hello! magazine.

New York was good. Emma and I did loads of TVs and radios and we did photoshoots everyday. Then we presented the VH1 fashion awards. I had a bit of a disaster, actually. Maria Grochwogel had spent about three weeks making my beautiful full-length white dress with little diamonds on it, but when I tried it on the day before to show David's mum and check it matched my handmade shoes, the thing didn't fit. It was about three sizes too big! Luckily I had something else with me and I finally wore something by Rebecca Davis, who has a label called Bare. The dress was pink and orange and I wore pink shoes, orange nail varnish and orange eye lashes to go with it! Clash clash!

We met some great people. We interviewed Stella McCartney, Lenny Kravitz, Liz Hurley, Cuba Gooding Jr., Christian Slater and Macy Gray. We had to ask them standard fashion questions like, "What are you wearing?", "Who are your favourite designers?" and "Are you enjoying the awards?" Unfortunately George Clooney wasn't there, which was a shame because Emma was really excited about meeting him!

Jennifer Lopez was really sweet. Emma liked her a lot and she was an inspiration. She's got a very pretty face and nice hair. We also met James Brown, who said to Emma "Ow!!! I feel good!"

I liked Tom Ford from Gucci, too. He and Liz Hurley were the best dressed people there, in my opinion. I asked him if he was aware that Posh Spice's first dress was a little Gucci number and he said, "I'm so flattered, thank you so much."

We bumped into the guy from Sex Pistols - John Lydon. He came up to me in front of the camera and said "UP THE ARSENAL." I didn't know who he was and asked him what he was wearing and he replied, "Clothes, clothes that suit me!" I just looked at the camera and said, "Really?"

We also met Destiny's Child and when they got in the car at the end of the night they shouted, "Girl Power! Girl Power!" They looked absolutely stunning in their long matching Versace dresses. They kept saying how much they loved us and we kept saying how much we loved them.

My other news is that I'm over my viral meningitus now, although I still get very tired and and sometimes I have to wear sunglasses because I can't bear the light, indoors as well. They reckon it can be in your blood for a year, unfortunately. When it first happened I had to spend two weeks flat on my back in bed. The only good thing about it was that I cancelled work and spent all my time with David and Brooklyn.

Have you heard that I'm writing a book? I'm doing it because there are so many untrue stories written about me and I wanted to get my side across. It's like doing the spring cleaning in a way - I can talk about everything that's been going on, get it all out of the way, forget about it and carry on. It's about time people heard both sides of the story.

We're all very excited about the album release. People have been saying we've split up for ages, but now they'll have to shut up! This album shows we can do a lot more vocally now, our choreography is much better and there's nothing holding us back!


Mel C

At the end of my last letter I was off to Slane Castle, wasn't I? (So much has happened since then!) It was an amazing gig, and we stayed on and played with Bryan (Adams) at the end of the show, which was great. The audience was huge. It was raining on and off, but it stayed dry while I was on stage, luckily. Then we did a few more rehearsals and started the tour!

The tour was fabulous. It seemed to get better and better with every show - the crowds were louder and singing more songs every time. The first gig was still fantastic, but it just kept on improving, so the last gigs at Shepherds Bush were the best of all. My family and friends from college were there, as well as Emma. They made me more nervous, but I work well under pressure and it gave me a real incentive to try and do my best. Luckily I had a good couple of shows. My voice became quite tired during the tour and I couldn't do much extra talking after a while. I had to do a lot of "streaming" (steam inhaling) to keep it going. I don't sing each song the same way every night - every show is different. I usually get the same feeling on most of the songs, but sometimes I might not feel as aggressive on Going Down - I might feel more cheeky! It just depends on how I'm feeling.

We had to cancel a couple of gigs - Liverpool and Bristol - because my drummer was ill in hospital. I was sad to miss Liverpool, but it was mid-way through the tour and I was feeling quite tired, so I think I'll be on better form when we play there in February. I've been in Europe for a couple of weeks now and I love being back on the road. But it can be scary playing a foreign country if the audience doesn't speak English. It's particularly hard for non-English speakers to understand what I'm saying on stage because I talk too fast - even English people don't know what I'm on about! (So I just talk less). I'm really looking forward to playing Wembely Arena.

Did you hear that I've had three nominations in the MTV Europe awards? They are: Best New Act; Best Female (against Madonna, Janet Jackson, Jennifer Lopez and Britney Spears, which is amazing!); and Best Song with Lisa for Never Be The Same Again (against Madonna's Music and Robbie's Rock DJ). I was surprised to be nominated, but I think I deserve to be!

My new video for If That Were Me is very simple and moody but hopefully it's appropriate for the song. I was very lucky because a lot of people worked on it for free or at a reduced rate so that more proceeds would go to charity. It wouldn't have been right to spend hundreds of thousands on a big s****y video when the aim of the song was to make money for the people who've got nothing. So we just did it really simply - in the Albert Docks in the East End of London on a miserable day!

It was cold, it was raining, I was wet and freezing and I had to do all this singing. I thought, "I'm really suffering for my art today!" But it was still a good shoot. The director was Cameron Casey, who shot I Turn To You. He's brilliant.

The money I'm contributing will go towards a Kandu Arts project called No Place Home, which aims to raise public awareness of the homeless issue, as well as provide support and practical help to young homeless people. Its an arts-based project, which is why I found it so interesting, and it's all about giving people the chance to explore what's going on in their lives through workshops, theatre, dance, music and video. It's about finding solutions to problems, not throwing money at them - and that's why it appeals to me.

What else? Well, I haven't been partying that much because I was on tour, but one night we had a few drinks with Tomcat, the support band, and that's where I met my boyfriend!!! He's called Dan.

When I was back in England, I hung out with Melanie and Phoenix quite a bit. I hadn't seen Phoenix for a long time, so I wanted to become good buddies with her again. She's a top kid. She seems to recognise me every time, but Brooklyn seems a bit scared of me. He's shy anyway, but especially with me!! Boys, eh?

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