It's no wonder that 'Kids in America' became an international hit. The procution, the catchy refrain but most of all the slightly husky voice of Kim Wilde made sure of that. The record is undoubtedly one of the best singles of 1981. The follow-up, Chequered Love, is just as full of hit potential. Kim will stick around, and she will prove it with her LP Kim Wilde, due out next week.
Kim prefers to spend her time singing and drawing. After school she spent a year at art college. 'I always wanted to become a singer, but when I left school, the opportunity just wasn't there. So I decided to focus on my other hobby for a while. My sketches aren't bad, but not good enough to show the world. I just make them for myself. I only give them away when I have made a portrait of someone.'
Kim's drawings often start in record or television studios. 'You have to wait around a lot. There's nothing to do. I prefer to take along a sketch book and pass my time doing that.'
There's not a lot of time for drawing, though. 'If I had more spare time, I would probably become better at it. I do have talent... it doesn't involve a lot of trouble to make a good drawing anyway.'
Aretha Franklin and Randy Crawford are Kim's biggest musical influernece, but she adds that she listens to all kinds of music: from Bach to Elvis Costello. 'I don't have a lot of time to listen to others... but I keep adding to my record collection with bands and artists that interest me'.
With a famous dad like Marty Wilde the studio quickly became Kim's second home. She did session work for friends of her father. 'I did backing vocals and helped them during sessions. I was asked a lot because people knew I wanted to become a singer'.
Kin Wilde doesn't write songs herself: her brother Ricky (19) and her father Marty do that for her. 'The inspiration isn't there', she says. 'Sometimes I have ideas, which I write down and try out on the piano - but they're not real songs. I am still young. For now I want to concentrate on my voice and my career as a singer. In the spare time I have I draw, rest or read a book.'