Music

Jess Glynne on Spice Girls inspiration, girl power and Glastonbury memories

The singer reflected on her life-long love for the girl group she is set to join on their massive arena run

Pop sensation Jess Glynne is coming to a festival near you this summer. Really, wherever you are. She’s doing 20 of them.

But as she gears up for a mammoth festival run and a coveted support slot on the Spice Girls’ arena tour, she spoke to the Big Issue about being inspired to break the mould by Geri Halliwell and co.

“They were role models to be yourself,” she said. “Girl power.

“When you’re a little girl and the boys are taking the mick out of you, you’ve got this band that are shouting from the roofs that girls win. And you’re like, yeah, fuck you!”

She emphasised that as an adult, she is unapologetic about being inspired by the biggest ever girl group. But it was true when she was a child, too.

“As a kid, you’re looking up to these girls that seem really cool. They’re the biggest pop stars in the world. They’re doing things that you could only dream of as a child. And it becomes a thing. You’re in the playground, you’re playing Spice Girls. All five of you – you and your girls – you’re taking different parts.

Glynne, who rose to fame after appearing on Clean Bandit’s 2014 hit Rather Be, continued: “The thing about the Spice Girls is, yes they were a band, but they all had their own personas. They all had their own personalities. It was so easy to jump into that frame of mind. If you were a gym girl you were Sporty. Obviously I was Ginger. Or Scary Spice if I wanted a change. It was a fun thing to be a part of as a child.”

Despite proving to be a hugely popular booking for festivals across the UK, the singer admitted she isn’t a great festival-goer herself.

She explained: “I don’t necessarily like getting muddy. Who does?

“I did V Festival a couple of times, I went to Bestival once. I went to Reading. But I wasn’t a festival head that goes to every festival. I don’t love camping, it’s never been a thing of mine. Not because I’m a diva, I just think some people can do it without getting frustrated. So I don’t do it.”

But one of her most treasured memories is of Glastonbury in 2016. She calls it her “best ever moment on stage as a performer, one of the most amazing experiences [she has] ever had.:

There were 75,000 people in attendance when Glynne took to the Pyramid Stage.

“Everyone was singing. In every single song I heard wails of people. It was just insane, I was so overwhelmed. I think I cried. I felt so accepted and everyone there was having so much fun. It was a really fucking good day at the office, I’ll say that much.”

Read the full interview in this week’s Big Issue summer festival special.

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