(Spice… with Shane H)

For some strange reason, the Spice Girls kept popping up during the Elska trip to Canada. The first guy we shot, Bryan P, was wearing a Spice Girls t-shirt during the shoot. Actually it turned out it was a t-shirt from the 1996 film ‘The Craft’, but I’m pretty sure that movie took inspiration from the Spice Girls anyway.  

Then we had Shane H, who pulled out of his bag an actual Spice Girls shirt. I shot him in that with a rainbow-painted tunnel as a backdrop, and I loved it. I was even very tempted to put him on the cover… but alas an image of Tate S got the final nod.

Finally, at one of the lad’s houses, I got forced into watching two back-to-back episodes of “America’s Got Talent”, which features Mel B (Scary Spice) as a judge. It is, by the way, one of the worst pieces of television drivel ever produced. It’s not even bad in a “so bad it’s funny” way, but just purely dreadful. 

My first memories of the Spice Girls came with a “so bad it’s funny” mentality. I remember driving in my friend Anastasia’s car and blasting out “Wannabe” and b-side “Bumper to Bumper”. We sang along ironically at full volume and kept the windows rolled down for full “annoy the neighbourhood” teenage realness. And then, as a joke, she bought me the album. I liked it. Not in any kind of hilarious way, but because it was actually pretty good… apart from “Wannabe”. Then for Christmas I got some sort of documentary + music videos compilation on VHS, which I guiltily watched more times than I’d like to admit. 

So immediately after that third Spice encounter, I put together a mixtape of Spice Girls and solo Spice tracks, and used it as an alternate Toronto mixtape, keeping things motivated and positive throughout Toronto shoot week. And, you know, I really needed it. As the first issue to be made without any assistant, I got kinda lonely out there, so it was good to have some upbeat music to help.

P.S. Take a listen to “Bumper to Bumper”, here:

See more of Shane H and read his story in Elska Magazine issue (08) Toronto


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