Kim keeps it in the family

Kim Wilde’s new album, released three weeks ago, is already at number ten in the charts and, at the age of 20, she also has two hit singles under her belt. A third, Water on Ice, is due out next week. Kim, elder daughter of 50s rock idol Marty Wilde, was brought up in a musical family although her father never encouraged her to go into the business. Kim talks to Ross Francis about her family and about her music.

Music for Kim Wilde is a family affair. Her dad, former rock idol Marty, writes the lyrics and her brother Ricky, 19, composes the music. And the former art college sudent who, at the age of 20 has two singles and an album to her name, still lives at her family home in Tewin.

She says: “We have always been a very close family and there has always been a lot of love in the home. Love is a very infectious thing and when you are used to having it all your life it is very hard to just walk away from. I don’t want to walk away from it at the moment even though the time is coming when I will have to do something about getting my own life together.”

There is genuine pride in Kim’s voice when she talks about her parents successful marriage. “I’m sure there must have been times when they thought ‘Oh sod it’. But they are still very much in love with each other.


“I am proud of them for sticking together and it is a lovely thing to see. It’s like what John and Yoko had and it’s lovely to see some people making a go of it. Perhaps it is an outdated thing now, but it can be a very positive thing and not all the negative things people make it out to be.”

So what about Kim and marriage? “Oh no, that’s not for me at the moment, I think I’ll do a Prince Charles and say not before I’m 30.”

Kim was still a schoolgirl when she decided she wanted to follow her father into show business. After leaving school she went to the art college in St Albans half hoping she might find a way into the business.

“Just as I was leaving college Ricky began writing songs. He wrote two fantastic songs and brought them up to RAK. I had done the backing vocals and RAK said ‘we want you to re-do them here’. It meant I had to come back up with Ricky and that’s when Mickey Most first saw me and thought he ight do something with me on my own.

“A couple of days later we cut Kids in America in a studio near our home. It was just a demo but Ricky and I took it along to Mickey to see what he thought of the song. As soon as he heard it he said it was a hit. Ricky looked at me and I looked at Ricky and we knw we had made it.”

What was her parents reaction? “They were delighted for me even though dad had never encouraged me to get into the business. In many ways he can be quite Victorian though I usually manage to make him see my side of the story.”

With two hit singles, Kids in America and Chequered Love under her belt and a new album, Kim Wilde, already at number ten, what’s it like at the top?

Says Kim: “I just see what I’m doing as a good job and I feel lucky to have a job I enjoy. I know I couldn’t stand doing anything else. But I realise there are lots of kids who have to put up with dull jobs just to get some money. I know I am very lucky so I could never think of getting blase and going round like I am someone special. I’m just singing songs and there is no big deal about that.


“A lot of singers let it go to their heads. They are daft because it’s not so much fun when you approach it like that.”

It soon becomes apparent that father has given daughter some sound advice on how to cope with the pressures, a point which Kim is quick to acknowledge. She says: “Dad has been a great help because he knows an awful lot about the business, but a lot of it is down to common sense. He doesn’t so much tell me things, because he’s never been like that and he knows I’ll only listen to what I want to. He just pops things into the conversation and hopes I’ll take notice of them.”

“But having a famous father wasn’t always easy. I was always proud of him, but it wasn’t always easy to be proud of someone whom the kids at school seemed to dislike you for. Of course it is jealousy but it is hard to come to terms with when you are growing up.”

Kim also has a sister called Roxanne who is two years old and a brother Marty who was born this year. How has Kim coped with the arrival of mother Joyce’s second family?

“I honestly felt relieved for mum because she had gone through a lot of trouble getting them. She wanted children so much and she had to go through many miscarriages and awful experiences until she managed to have Roxanne. There was never any jealousy just tremendous relief that mum had got what she wanted.”

She admits that her new brother and sister are delaying her plans to move away from home. “I’m needed a thome more than anything now and besides, I’d be a fool to walk away from Marty and Roxanne without really getting to know them. Mum is great at keeping my feet on the ground. She just asked me to change nappies and that kind of stuff. Babies are the greatest things around for bringing people down to earth.”