Melanie Chisolm, sporty spice or Mel C – call her what you will – has been receiving rave reviews for her 5th album ‘The Sea’, Melanie C tells Ryan Cullen about fame, family and her love of performing in Ireland.

Selling approximately eighty-seven million records in the music industry (including Spice Girls) makes her a pioneer of pop music. Melanie Jayne Chisholm, professionally known simply as Melanie C is best known as one of the five members of the girl group Spice Girls, in which she was nicknamed “Sporty Spice”. She toured the world for years with the Spice Girls, gaining worldwide popularity and when the Spice Girls decided to pursue solo careers, Melanie decided to produce her own brand of music. She is currently touring after the release of her fifth studio album entitled ‘The Sea’ which is gaining rave reviews from critics worldwide. “It was really nice to get back into the studio because it’s been the biggest gap I’ve had, I think it’s been about four years now. I worked with lots of writers that I worked with in the past but I also met a lot of new faces, being brave and branching out to new contacts and I think that really helped the album as it kept it quite fresh”

It goes without saying that venturing into a solo career from a majorly successful band can be a daunting task in which many have found difficult in the past, Melanie C has had great success, racking up critical success and around fourteen million record sales as a solo artist. “It’s such a long time ago now and because I was still working with the girls when I did my first album, there was a little crossover period and then before I knew it I was a solo artist. It was a relief to be out on my own, because even though it was amazing time with the girls, there comes a time in a band when you just feel like you want a bit of freedom”. Melanie tells the College Tribune about how she takes much influence from other music worldwide spanning over many genres. “I have quite an eclectic taste in music, I always have liked quite a lot of styles but I do know I’m a pop singer and a vocalist. This album is something that I have experimented in and I think that it is quite a diverse pop album in that It has a bit of a rock feel on a couple of the tracks and a dance feel on another. It has a few atmospheric moments which is something to me that I haven’t really done much of before. For me it was really nice because it was like my first album in that it keeps changing stylistically.”

Over the years Melanie C has been critical of the over-sexualisation of pop artists today and she tells the College Tribune about the changes in pop since the Spice Girls had ‘Spiced up our lives’. “It’s really interesting, it seems that the genres of music are ever expanding and merging, when I grew up you either liked pop or rock, and there seemed to be different types of music determined to relieve stress and I think nowadays the internet means that everyone likes a bit of everything”.

Melanie Chisholm gave birth to a baby girl at the Portland Hospital in London a few years ago and with the work and effort surrounding that we asked her if it had a profound effect on her music career “It has affected me in every way, I feel a lot calmer than I did before I was a parent which is kind of bizarre, she becomes the most important thing in your life so everything else you just seem to chill out more about everything else”

Melanie C is in the middle of her first tour in ages and she is really enjoying the experience of playing in front of audiences again. “ It is going really well, it’s going brilliantly, I think know, myself and the band have been together for such a long time that we are really comfortable on stage. They are great musicians and we have two new additions to it, I have two new backing singers which is something that I’ve never had and that adds a new dimension and freedom. With five albums worth of stuff, we have been running competitions on twitter to get people to choose the set-list.”

Melanie tells us with a hint of excitement in her voice about her upcoming gig in Dublin, she tells us about her love for the Irish crowds “You guys have such a great reputation as audiences and I’ve experienced that with the Spice Girls and as a solo artist. You know it’s going to be a great night when you play Dublin, especially the Olympia”. Melanie C will return to headline at The Olympia Theatre on Monday, 5th March 2012. Tickets priced from €21.90 including booking fee are on sale now.