Melanie C didn’t set out to make the riskiest album of her career. She didn’t plan to surprise her fans with a set of songs so radically different from her previous records that even her vocals have undergone a reinvention. She certainly didn’t seek out producers primarily known for working with grime and R&B stars, although she’s thrilled to have them on board. When she started writing her sixth, solo album of original material three years ago, there was only one rule – that there were no rules.
Version Of Me is Melanie’s first fully electronic album. It began with a desire to shake up her sound and be more experimental, took her from studios in L.A. to a garden shed in south London and resulted in the freshest, most contemporary-sounding music she’s ever made.
Back in London, sessions continued between Melanie’s many other commitments, among them judging on Asia’s Got Talent. She teamed up with Tom Wilding and former Rooster frontman Nick Atkinson for the album’s title track and then with Tom and Richard Judge for the spectacular shoulder-shaker Escalator.
So keen was Melanie to preserve the adventurous spirit of her collaborations that most of her vocals on Version Of Me are the original demos. For the first time, she was involved in every aspect of the album, from the production to the mixes.
“Because the songs came together over a long period of time, it all felt quite easy,” she says. “All of a sudden, I had an album. But getting them to work together has made this both my most painful and most rewarding record. Occasionally I worried that maybe I’d gone a step too far, but I know how good these songs are and how much they mean to me. I achieved exactly what I set out to do – make an album of songs I love and that I can’t wait to sing live.”