The pair hang out on the couch, on a playground, and on some purple-carpeted stairs, in this sexy, philosophical and fun forgotten gem from 1998
Undoubtedly, in his four-decade-long career, Prince was interviewed more times than anyone could care to have counted.
His favourite, however, was with Mel B, whom in 1998 he invited to his Paisley Park home in Minneapolis to sit side-by-side on matching yellow armchairs to hang out and talk… with cameras, thankfully.
“I like you,” he says at one point to the then-Spice Girl. “This is the best interview I've ever had... You're very complimentary.”
The video begins with them both stating what they’d like to be called, Melanie and Spud – “Like a potato”, asks Melanie, “Why?”. Prince smiles, “You know”. But she doesn’t. I don’t. Does he? Do you?
Delightfully, the clip is 20 minutes long – with an extra five for some trippy Prince visuals. Key moments include – but are not limited to – insights on Prince’s writing process, the relatively new idea of the internet, the negativity of the media, artists having ownership over their own music, and a quick but shy reference to sex. The interview must just proceed the release of Newpower Generation Soul’s third studio album Newpower Soul, because that’s spoken about too. A record that Prince described at the time as “spiritually political” and something that gets “closer and closer to the truth”. With 20-years of hindsight since its release behind us, we know it didn’t do as well as Prince would’ve liked it to have, but it’s still nice to hear him sell it. And he does it like the pro he was.
“‘I like you,’ Prince says at one point to the then-Spice Girl. ‘This is the best interview I've ever had... You're very complimentary’”
Recalling a conversation Melanie had about the ‘future’ with the Spice Girls’ tour drummer – she says, “At some point, there’s gonna be no need for record companies. Everything is gonna be done through the internet. You’ll be able to sell, download... through the internet.” To which Prince says he isn’t so sure about, noting that record companies do help young artists when they’re starting out, but also says that record companies are a “detriment” to artists who want to write and release a lot of music. Years later, he would compare record contracts to “slavery”.
The pair also touches on birth and death as Prince notes that he doesn’t like birthdays. “We never came here knowing we were gonna die – somebody told us that. If we never knew we were gonna die, we wouldn’t celebrate a birthday.” However, he does say that he will celebrate the day he dies – “Because you’re going to move onto the next path in life?” Melanie asks, getting the thumbs up from His Purpleness.
Melanie also muses on why she’s called “Scary Spice” – “You’re not scary at all”, Prince tells her, “what’s up with that?” She responds, “Because I have got my own opinion, I do like to say exactly what I think and I think people aren’t ready for that sometimes. They’d rather have someone quiet and someone who will agree to everything... for some people that’s frightening.” Prince then asks, “Do you find that people live through you, and then when you don’t act like they expect you to, then you’re the bad one? Melanie bad...”
It’s like being a fly on the wall as a pair of mates hang out on a couch, on a kid’s playground in Prince’s backyard – with a loitering limousine nearby – and finally sat on a purple-carpeted staircase. It’s sexy, philosophical, and fun. Watch in full below.