Mel Blatt: The Q interview

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The Independent Culture

Mel Blatt, 28, was a founding member of All Saints, the combat-wearing girl band who sold 10 million albums between 1997 and 2001. After leaving the band, Blatt had a top 10 hit singing with dance act Artful Dodger on "Twenty Four Seven". Her first single as a solo artist, "Do Me Wrong", is released tomorrow. She lives in north London with her partner, former Jamiroquai bassist Stuart Zender, and their four-year-old daughter, Lily Ella.

So why did All Saints split up?

We just didn't get on any more: different ambitions, different goals, different egos...

There used to be a lots of hype about rivalry with the Spice Girls.

I hated them. That's just me though, not the others - I, Melanie Blatt, hated the Spice Girls.

Why?

I was just totally against what they stood for. It was all too corporate for me. I was very militant about my music at the time, and they only seemed to be interested in the fame and money. Somebody played us their first song before they released it and we just laughed. We were like, "Ha ha! That's never going to work, it sounds like a nursery rhyme." Goes to show how much we knew.

What's on your stereo at the moment?

The soundtrack to The Nightmare Before Christmas. Lily and I started listening to the music over breakfast and then we decided to watch the film afterwards.

Is it hard being a working mum?

Not really, no. I'm lucky because I've never had to pay for anyone to look after Lily. I've always been very fortunate with mates and family helping out along the way. Lily's kind of pissed off with me for going out to work again. I've been at home for two and a half years so now she's like: "How dare you go to work!"

She sounds like a bit of a handful...

She's crazy. For pretty much the last two years, Stuart has been in the studio or travelling, so it would just be Lily and me in the kitchen, dancing and watching MTV. We're used to being together - she's like my mate. I speak to her as I would speak to anybody else. Which probably isn't a good thing, because now she talks to me like she's 30.

Why the name Lily Ella?

Lilies were the first flowers that Stuart ever sent me, and Ella is for Stuart's favourite singer.

Do you want more children?

If it happens it happens, and I'd be ever so pleased if it did, but there's no "we want four children" plan. Anyway, Stuart's going to have to stay in the country long enough to inseminate me first.

When are you going to get married?

I have days when I really want to and days when I don't. I made a terrible mistake on a drunken night out - I turned round to Stuart and said: "We love each other so much, we don't have to get married, it's just a piece of paper". And ever since, whenever I say, "when we get married..." he says, "we're not getting married darling, you said you never wanted to marry me."

What would you have done if you hadn't been a singer?

The only other career I ever considered was window dressing, after I watched Mannequin. I'm still sure I could do that.

As a teenager, you suffered from scoliosis and had metal plates inserted into your spine. Do you set off metal detectors at airports?

That's only ever happened once! Stuart likes to say that I set them off all the time, but I don't. If I go through something and it beeps, he's like: "It's your back!"

Have you ever stolen anything?

I stole a pencil when I was about 11 from Paperchase. It was shiny and I was with my bad influence cousin. I felt really guilty afterwards and never told anyone.

How many tattoos have you got?

Two. I've got a dragon on my side - which is apparently the most painful place you can ever have a tattoo, although I didn't know that beforehand - and a musical stave on my right shoulder. I got it with Shaz [fellow All Saint Shaznay Lewis] when I was about 18. They were doing half-price tattoos in this shop, but I didn't have any cash, so Shaz bought it for me. There are six lines there instead of five, so the notes don't actually mean anything. It will always remind me of how stupid I was when I was 18.

Is your body a temple or a bike shed?

A bike shed. It's very rickety and I'm full of cigarette burns.

You've known Justin Timberlake since he was very young. Have you seen him since he became super-famous?

Yes, I saw him at a party not long ago, but it was a brief meeting. There were so many girls around him it was hilarious. I just grabbed his cheeks and told him I was proud of him. Like he gave a shit!

Mel Blatt's new single, 'Do Me Wrong', is released on London Records tomorrow

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