At twenty years of age Kim Wilde bas already had three big hit singles with Kids In America, Chequered Love and Water On Glass, which is also the title of her recently-released debut album. Look-in's PETER JEFFRIES tracked Kim down to the plush London offices of famed producer Mickie Most's RAK Records to ask her about her life as a pop star.
Are you surprised at how quickly you've gained success?
It's not knocked me back for six, I still feel that my feet are quite firmly on the ground. I'm really happy getting paid for something I love doing, it's a kind of overall contentment, really.
How would you feel if your success went as quickly as it came?
Oh, I try not to think about it. I'm sorely aware of it, though. I hear people on the radio everyday who've completely disappeared from the music scene and I think 'I wonder what they're doing now'. I'm working very hard and just hope the same thing doesn't happen to me.
Has success changed your way of life dramatically?
Well I'm a lot busier, getting hardly any time to myself. Apart from that, nothing's really changed. I still see my same friends from school - our relationships are stronger than ever - and in this business I'm travelling around meeting lots of nice new friends.
Are you aiming your music at any particular audience?
Personally, I'm not trying to appeal to any one generation of people. I'd like as many different generations as possible to listen.
Your father (Marty Wilde, a famous pop star of the fifties) and brother Ricky (keyboard player with Kim's backing group) write most of your songs. Do you write at al}?
Yes I do, but as yet I haven't got down to anything serious. I didn't write anything for our first album but I hope to do something on the next. My dad's always encouraged me to do songwriting but there are a few barriers I have to break down to actually get myself motivated.
Recently Ricky wrote a beautiful almost classical p;ece of music and I said 'I'd love to write words to that.' I then wished I hadn't opened my mouth because he and dad said, 'Do it'. That scared me; sometimes, if you want to do something badly enough, it scares you. In the end, I'm quite pleased with it, it has got me over that fear and I can see that writing could be a pleasure. At the moment, though, with Dad and Ricky getting together and helping each other out with ideas they're doing a terrific job.
So when you do get down to writing, where do your ideas come from?
Well, because I haven't done that much I don't know if I can give you a proper answer. Basically, I think, ideas come from anywhere and everywhere. Sometimes it's situations people are in, and how they handle them. Anything can inspire a song, even simply getting up in the morning and feeling great.
I would like to write for other artists as well, In fact, I think I'd probably feel better writing for someone else. Being able to detach myself in that way I could write better songs. Perhaps that's what I'd do, we'll just have to see what happens.
How would you describe your music?
At the beginning. And a good beginning, too. I think the album is a good beginning but I don't think it's the be and end all of Kim Wilde, and when I say Kim Wilde I mean Ricky and Marty Wilde, too; we're all a part of eachother.
I think, possibly, that the music on the album in particular promises more than it gives. Don't get me wrong, it gives a lot, and I'm very proud of it, but the future promises to be much more exciting - we're already working on stuff for the next album!
Has the fact that your father was once a pop star helped you very much?
Oh yes, a great deal; and I think he'll be even more help in the future. I like to make most of my decisions myself, I'm really stubborn, but his advice is invaluable. After all, he's got almost a quarter of a century's experience to offer.
What are the things about being a pop star that you don't like?
I don't like the attitude ofsome people who think they own you, but apart from that I haven't had so much fun since I was at art college.
Do you prefer playing live or in the recording studio?
I haven't done any live gigs yet, although I did a live television show in France which I got a big kick out of. I do like working in the studio, getting tracks down, yet performing for people is a big part of this business and one which must give you great satisfaction. I'm really looking forward to touring, it's going to be a big challenge and it's the most exciting prospect in front of me.
What would you be doing if you weren't a pop star?
Well, the only other job I've had was working at Harrods, in the sales, for a short while. I really loved it you know, chatting with customers about what kind of styles suited them, sometimes persuading them to buy something completely different from what they originally wanted. I was good at that but I don't think l'd have liked to do it forever.