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3 / 4 June 2017       LANXESS arena Cologne
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one month ago - 6/4/2017

"I love to be physical and energetic"

Ahead of her performance on Sunday at the VELUX EHF FINAL4 2017, we talked to British singer and songwriter Melanie C about sport, fitness, workouts, her new album – and, of course, handball.

The final day at the VELUX EHF FINAL4 2017 is also 'Melanie C' day. The former 'Spice Girl' will perform one song ahead of the final and two, including her own version of 'We are the Champions' at the winners' ceremony, afterwards. Melanie C has been wandering on solo paths for more than 15 years already, with songs like ,Never be the same again' and 'I Turn to You' gaining no.1 status.

Her newest album ‘Version of Me’ has been released last October and Melanie C is currently touring with it. In Cologne, the 43-year-old will, besides 'We are the Champions' perform her song 'Next Best Superstar' and 'Dear Life', the first single released from 'Version of Me'.

Melanie, what comes to your mind when you hear handball?

Actually, it’s a sport that I’m not so familiar with, so I’m very intrigued to know more.

Have you had a chance to watch a handball match at least once?

I haven’t watched any game at all, but I have always been a sport lover. It's always lovely to discover new sports and I know that the VELUX EHF FINAL4 in Cologne is a huge event and I’m excited to be performing there.

What are you particularly looking forward to?

I love Cologne, it's one of my favourite German cities. I‘ve travelled there many times, worked there and stayed there and it’s always lovely to come back. My German audience has always been so good to me and I love performing for them. And then it'll be about appreciating a new sport at the very top level of the game. I’m looking forward to that experience.

Let's get to this interview's one and only 'Spice Girl' reference: You received your nickname, 'Sporty Spice', because you’ve always been sports mad. Correct?

This is not entirely true. We received them from Top of the Pops magazine and it was a bit random. It was more because of our personality and appearance. I was always in my track suit and training shoes. But I’ve always been very athletic. I did a lot of athletics in school. So sport has always been a big part of my life.

So what role does sport play in your life at the moment?

I’m a bit of a frustrated triathlete at the moment. Last year, I competed in three and I got my personal best in London. I was very much looking forward to more, but releasing a new record and touring and all the promoting has made that impossible. I will probably get back to that next year. It is definitely my sport of choice. So this year is about keeping healthy. I love to go the gym. I'm regularly on my bike. I love to mix it up.

Do you have a training regime you follow?

I have a personal trainer a couple of times a week when I’m at home, but other than that I take it just from how my diary looks. If it fits in, I go to yoga class. If I’m not training specifically for an event, I just do what feels good.

How much of a workout is a concert for you?

Surely, you must burn several hundred calories being on stage. I’m on stage about 90 minutes and when I’m touring, I really like to be physical and energetic. That’s part of the reason, I really took my fitness seriously back in the earlier days of the 'Spice Girls' because I didn’t want my fitness to hold me back on stage, I wanted to be free. Still nowadays it is always good to be fit and be able to sing well when you’re jumping around. Touring is a gruelling lifestyle, sleeping on buses and getting six hours of sleep a night. It’s pretty tiring, so being physically fit can really help with that.

You have been a competitor in a 5 or 10 kilometres virtual race and people could beat you. What was the time needed to beat you?

I’m not too sure. I think at 5k, I like to do it sub 25minutes and then 10k; I haven‘t done 10k for a while. I think about an hour.

Here in Cologne, you will sing three songs, 'Next Best Superstar', 'Dear Life' and your own version of 'We are the Champions'...

It’s an absolute honour to sing a Queen song. I’ve been performing that song in London with Brian May. It is a beautiful song.

What do the other two songs mean to you, 'Next Best Superstar' and 'Dear Life'?

'Next Best Superstar' is from my third album which I think was my most successful one in Germany. I had my first German number one on it with 'First Day of my Life'. That was a really good time for me. 'Dear Life' is the first single from my new Album 'Version of Me'. It’s a very personal album which is been received really well and I think it’s a song everybody can relate to. It is about the ups and downs in life and what the future holds for us.

Author: EHF / ts
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