If the lockdown hadn't got in the way, she'd probably be at an airport or in some hotel, says Melanie Chisholm via video stream.

The 46-year-old British woman, who became world famous in the 1990s as a member of the Spice Girls, does not stand still.

The British girl group's sales records fill a long Wikipedia entry.

On top of that, Chisholm alias Mel C is

also enormously successful solo

with over 20 million records (hit single:

Never be the Same Again)

.

During the height of the Corona crisis, she appeared in home videos with the family.

Her new solo album

Melanie C

will be released soon

,

and one of the first public appearances since the beginning of the pandemic takes her to Hamburg this week - as a juror for the Anchor Award at the Hamburg Reeperbahn Festival.

DIE ZEIT:

How does a Spice Girl spend a typical lockdown day?

Melanie Chisholm:

I cook, train and clean.

In the long run everything is a little monotonous.

ZEIT:

You could watch them in home videos.

In a video you can see your daughter doing schoolwork.

How does that fit in with the claim you have already expressed to keep your private life really private?

Chisholm:

I have close celebrity friends whose children are constantly on public view.

I, on the other hand, want my daughter to decide for herself when she's old enough - that's why I don't show her face, she's only eleven.

I also keep telling her very strictly that you shouldn't flaunt your private life on Instagram.

You can do a lot of things on social networks that you later regret.

ZEIT:

On the other hand, you are very intimate in the text of your single

Who I Am,

which deals with psychological problems in your past.

Chisholm: It

helps me to open up like that.

I've got to a point in my life where I'm ready for it.

A lot of great things have happened to me too, and I have now found my inner peace.

I can now accept myself for who I am.

I want to communicate all of this with my new album to give courage to others who are in difficult situations.

Women in particular are often unnecessarily strict with themselves.

ZEIT:

You also show a personal side in the video clip for your single: You walk through a museum in which famous poses from your career are exhibited.

How strange was that for you?

Chisholm:

It was a gauntlet run.

It was particularly difficult to be reminded of the time of my first solo album

Northern Star

: At that time I wore my hair short.

Seeing me like this again stirred up almost forgotten memories of a difficult phase in my life.

Back then I had a lot of personal problems to deal with.

Such a confrontation can also be very beneficial, indeed cathartic.

You face your past and can go on freely.

ZEIT:

How did you manage to be less strict with yourself?

Chisholm:

It was a fluid process.

Everyone has to survive the teenage years.

Where do i belong

Who am I?

I also found my twenties to be a very tough time.

When I was put in the spotlight, the pressure to perform and the expectations were incredible.

And at the same time I had to clarify for myself who I actually am.

But at some point I got there and accepted what I was doing, which was very liberating.

My new album is largely inspired by the time I spent on tour with the Spice Girls last year.

ZEIT:

Your new album sounds danceable and electronic, just like the rave sounds of the nineties.

A memory of your youth?

Chisholm:

I've always loved electronic music.

In the early 1990s, I went to raves in empty warehouses every weekend.

It wasn't as wild and illegal as the raves in the late eighties, but it was still totally exciting for me: I was nineteen, young and irresponsible, and I just enjoyed the freedom of the moment while dancing.

ZEIT:

You then professionalized dancing.

Chisholm:

Yes, I went to a performing arts college with the aim of being able to work in musicals at some point.

My plan was to make it to the West End stages of London, where the big musicals are played.

Or maybe even perform on Broadway in New York one day.

But then the Spice Girls got in the way.

However, I was able to realize my dreams from then later: I performed in the West End and was

on tour

with the musical

Jesus Christ Superstar

.

If you will, the circle has come full.

ZEIT:

Do you remember the first time that you heard your voice on the radio?

Chisholm:

Yes, I actually do.

I was out in the car with the girls, suddenly our first single

Wannabe was

on the radio and we freaked out.

I remember the sales skyrocketing and we watched, stunned and excited, as the song climbed to the top of the UK charts.