- Tue, 2003-09-30 10:18
In May 2003 Emma Bunton returned after a two year absence with a fantastic brand new single and an incredible sexy new look, prompting the critics to exclaim “Baby’s All Grown Up!”. Back with a new record deal through 19 Management and Universal, Emma’s single ‘Free Me’ stormed the charts in May hitting the No. 5 spot and stayed in the top 40 for the next 6 weeks. Her second single ‘Maybe’ - taken from Emma’s solo album’, Free Me, continued the comeback in a very coquettish style! I Like Music chatted to Emma a few days after she opened the Style Awards, to chat about her new single, life as a Spice and the memories she holds dear.
''I like music because......it brings out an emotion in you - happy or sad, like a biography of your life.'' Emma Bunton
ILM: Your single Maybe is out in October. Can you give us your own personal description of it and the track's whole vibe?
Emma: Maybe came about because I remember that kind of time when you first think, 'Am I in love? Is this it? And it's quite exciting and you're not quite sure, and it just makes you so excited that you go a little bit mad, and that's what the video is about as well, it's inspired from 60s musicals and film, where it was all very controlled, but then they all go a little bit mad, and I love that.
Maybe is just really an up-tempo track that I think people can identify with, and love singing along to and dancing, it's actually one of my favourites.
ILM: Did you know that the Bina and Martini club mix is number 8 in the hype chart from Hooj Tunes, meaning it'll be played out a lot in the underground scene? And is that a good boost?
Emma: Fantastic. I heard the remix a little while ago, and I was really pleased with it. I was listening to it in my car, I had to check it out to make sure it was all right. So I'm really pleased with that. And Free Me the dance version went to number one in the dance charts, so that's great. The dance charts are big, and people really enjoy dance music, and I do. So you have to make sure you've got a good dance mix.
ILM: And what can we expect from your forthcoming album?
Emma: My album, I'm just so pleased with it, because it definitely flows really lovely, it's got a 60s theme to it, but modern as well. I worked with some great producers, and I think for them it was something new as well. So, we worked really hard on this album. And I really want to people to listen to it. Sometimes people will say think, 'oh right Emma Bunton's album' and they've already judged it, but I think if you really listen to it lyrically and to the production, it is a great album.
ILM: You opened the British Style Awards show last week, how was that?
Emma: It was amazing actually. I think Maybe was the perfect opener, and it got everyone ready for the night, and I've got some amazing dancers who don't usually do pop videos, they're more trained to do a lot of musicals. And it's very different, the whole routine, and I just loved it. There were lots of people there, from Kim Cattrall and Foxy to Louis Walsh to Victoria, so it was quite a nerve-racking experience but I loved it. I loved performing.
ILM: In your popstar life have you ever got starstruck, and which of your own idols have you met?
Emma: Obviously I'm really lucky because I've met a lot of people along the way. And it has been amazing. I've met Madonna and Nelson Mandela, but there was one person I did get very star struck with and that's Stevie Wonder - I've been brought up listening to his music. And when I met him, he's just an amazing man, with such an aura about him. And I've met him a few times now, he's great.
ILM: Of all the songs you've done as a solo artist and the songs you made with the Spice Girls, which did you have the most fun making and why?
Emma: My first solo album, with What Took You So Long. Especially when we wrote it. What Took You So Long was one of the last songs we wrote for the album, and it just hit straight away that this was a single, and I think people really enjoyed it. So that was amazing to make.
And also the first album I did with the Spice Girls, it was great fun because it was all very cheeky and very fun, and we just wrote lyrics that just came out, and it was all good fun, and we never really took anything too serious. And I think that's the difference between today's music and the Spice Girls, we never knew how anything was going to go, and didn't really know how things would go in the charts. It was always very fun and light and free, and that was amazing too, just girls having fun.
ILM: How does it feel knowing that you were a member of the biggest girl band in history and to have inspired so many girls and women? Do you still wake up in the morning and go 'wow!'
Emma: I don't wake up in the morning and go 'woo', but obviously it's really nice because girl bands still today say we opened a lot of doors for girl bands, so that's really nice to hear. We really worked really hard, but for us five it was just all about being a little bit mad and going for it, and it was fun. We weren't really styled at the beginning, and it was all just really easy and like girls out having a laugh.
ILM: Can you tell me something I haven't read or don't know about your get together meal the Beckham residence?
Emma: It's funny because we do still see each other, and we just decided to have dinner, and it was all really fun. But I remember us all saying 'oh my god there's been so much press around it,' and it was bizarre that we were all sitting there and there were lots of press outside, and we were like 'oh my god!' So it's still exciting.
ILM: Do you feel much more in control of your music and your destiny in general these days?
Emma: Of course, I've been very lucky to be in a band where we had full control, where writing, styling, everything was all down to us. But now I'm 27 and I'm more confident with being in the studio now. So yeah, I feel a lot more in control and I love writing lyrics, I love doing melodies, and I'm much more in the studio now with production and stuff, so that's been interesting and I've learnt so much, it's been fantastic. And I'm much more of a confident woman.
ILM: And do you find it quite therapeutic to write songs?
Emma: Absolutely, and that's how other people can identify with it. It's like writing a diary, where you just write everything down, how you're feeling. Obviously it goes a bit further and everyone hears about it. When people ask what advice I'd give to people starting out in their careers as singers, and I just say, just write. It's very important and it does help if you can get up and sing and be passionate about it. So I would say write lots of things, even if 'I feel rubbish today,' or 'I feel really good and I went out with girlfriends,' you can always turn it into a poem or a song.
ILM: You're very close to your mum. What's the best thing about your mum and does she play your music?
Emma: My mum does play my music bless her. Even though she's not very good at the words, because she gets them wrong. When Wannabe first came out she used to say, 'I really really really wanna have a good time,' so she makes up her own words. She loves this track Maybe, and she's trying to copy the video at the moment with some of her girlfriends doing the dancing. And the best thing about my mum is that she's my friend. She's just a good friend and we talk about everything and we're honest.
ILM: Can you describe your ideal night in and ideal night out?
Emma: My ideal night out would be with my girlfriends, going for some food. My favourite place is Nobu, I love it there, it's great fun, and then onto a club where we'd have a good dance. Especially with the girls, because you just have a laugh and then head home.
My favourite night in, would be a great takeaway, Pop Idol on the telly, and just really chilled, comfy and in pyjamas.
ILM: Describe your favourite place on earth….
Emma: My favourite place on earth would have to be home, my mum's house. It's lovely there's a big garden and the family will come over, and my little nephew, and we'll run around the garden and chill out. And I also love being abroad on a beautiful beach, and having some time off, chillin'. I love the sun!
ILM: Can you describe the highlight of your life so far and highlight of your musical life?
Emma: I've been so lucky to be travelling and performing all over the world, but I think one of them was definitely performing at Madison Square Gardens, and Madonna was in the audience and it was quite bizarre but an amazing time, and the other one was when What Took You So Long stayed at number one for two weeks and beat Robbie Williams and Janet Jackson, so that was very exciting.
ILM: What is in your CD player right now?
Emma: In my CD player right now is my Greatest Hits of George Benson. My own album, Norah Jones and I'm really looking forward to Lemar's album. And I'm a big Christina fan.
ILM: What are you doing for Chrimbo and looking forward to next year?
Emma: I always spend Christmas with my family. Last year we went away to Paris, and this year we're going to stay at home. We're a very close family so we just put on the fire, have a big Christmas tree, watch telly, eat, a traditional Christmas, and next year I'm looking forward to the album coming out and to finding out people's opinions and I think people will enjoy it, because it's a nice album. And also just looking forward to trying other things - Absolutely Fabulous is out in October which I did a couple of episodes of. Jennifer Saunders is a good friend, so that was nice. So who knows what next year holds…