“I never felt that being a woman was any less or more of an advantage.” Northern Soul chats to Kim Wilde
She’s preparing a new album and tour for the New Year. She’s released a festive single with thrash metal band Lawnmower Deth. She’s playing a yuletide show at Manchester’s O2 Ritz with Toyah Wilcox and Carol (T’Pau) Decker. She’s probably already got her sprouts on and iced her Christmas cake for the big day.
In short, Kim Wilde is a busy woman. But she did manage to slow down for a nanosecond to tell Northern Soul about musical role models, going viral and looking forward to 2018.
Five Festive Minutes with Kim Wilde
Wilde released Wilde Winter Songbook in 2013, went Rocking Around the Christmas Tree in the 80s and this year she’s got a new single and The Wilde Wild Christmas Show. Is she a fan of the season by any chance?
“How did you guess? It is one of my most favourite times of the year,” she says. “I just take the best that’s on offer from all of it and indulge all my senses.”
In a 35-year career that has included 20 Top 40 singles, chart albums and tours with Michael Jackson and David Bowie, does she enjoy looking back at her achievements?
“I’m very proud of the music I’ve made, and it has a big place in my heart, but to be honest I’m more excited about tomorrow than I am today. It really doesn’t feel the same in terms of motivation or ambition. In so many ways, it feels a lot better these days. The pressure is off, and the focus is on creativity and fun.”
Wilde don’t always get credit for the fact that she’s written a lot of her material. Did she have any female musical inspirations when she was growing up?
“It was Kirsty MacColl who encouraged me to start writing. She was around my age and I was such a big fan.”
She continues: “When I was much younger watching Top of the Pops, I was inspired by Lynsey de Paul, another excellent songwriter as well as performer. She used to sit at her piano singing her own compositions and I really wanted to do that too. Chrissie Hynde also made a big impact on me and is one of my favourite writers and performers.”
In a recent interview with Northern Soul, Suzi Quatro spoke fondly of the role Mickie Most played in her career as a manager and mentor. Wilde also recorded for his RAK Records label. Did he play an important role at the start of her success?
“Mickie was massively influential to both my brother Ricky and myself [Ricky produced and co-wrote many of Wilde’s hits]. He took us under his wing while never clipping our own.”
Has she noticed many changes for women in the music industry since her career took off in 1981?
“I’ve always felt that the music industry had a fairly level playing field when it came to male and female participation. I never personally felt that being a woman was any less or more of an advantage.”
Wilde has inspired major fan devotion down the years. What’s the most surreal behaviour she has experienced?
“The girl who filmed my brother and my drunken antics on a train after a Christmas party in 2012. The clip went viral and has had almost three million views. Happily, she turned out to be a fan and even ended up in the recreation video we shot the following year.”
What current artists does she admire at the moment?
“Frida Sundemo, Slaves, Daft Punk and Dead Pretties.”
In Smash Hits style, I asked Toyah Wilcox who would win between both artists in an arm-wrestling match. Wilcox said she would be the victor. But Wilde is an award-winning gardener so I reckon she must have a pretty strong grip. Who does Wilde think would be triumphant?
“I think Toyah would definitely win. Mostly because she’d want it more than I would. I certainly wouldn’t mess with her if I bumped into her in a dark alley.”
The Wilde Wild Christmas Show is at The O2 Ritz, Manchester on December 22, 2017. For more information, or to book tickets, click here.
For details of Kim Wilde’s 2018 Tour, click here.
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Thought for the Day: ”Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and the shadows will fall behind you.” – Walt Whitman