Date: 1 June 1984
Originally published in: Kwik Magazine (Belgium)
Do you remember her? The wilde thing who made a name for herself with her ‘Kids in America’? The fresh, new sound that resounded with youngsters. A new star was born. Her name: Kim Wilde. She had several giant hits. But then the unexpected turnaround followed. Eighteen months ago her last record was released. It was hardly noticed. Things became very quiet around Kim. The end of a fairytale? No, because she’s here again. With a new record, a new image and… a new interview.
Four years ago ‘Kids in America’ stormed all the charts. Kim Wilde was the revelation: five hits – among them the very famous ‘View from a bridge’ and ‘Cambodia’ – she had, but after that her life fell apart completely. The big star seemed to have become a temporary fad. But the character of the Wildes was ignored: all the family (Kim’s music and lyrics are written by her father and her brother) sat around the kitchen table and discussed Kim’s new course.
Shortly before her twenty-fourth birthday daughter Wilde knows she can stand on her own two legs as well: Kim: “The men have always felt they had to protect me. But that’s over now. I can handle things myself.”
“I am not a feminist. But I do feel independent. When you’re not independent, you can forget everything.”
It’s obvious that little Kim wanted to get out from under Marty Wilde’s protective influence. He was the British popstar from the Fifties and Sixties.
Fled the nest
Kim – who in fact is called Smith (How English!) – lived in a luxury house in Hertfordshire. Her brother RIcky wrote the songs and also produced his sister. But now Kim is going her own way. She changed record firms and chose a whole new image. In the north of London she is renting her own flat, which she is rumoured to be sharing with the 30 year old saxophone player Gary Barnacle, who plays with Elvis Costello’s Attractions at the moment.
Kim and Gary met two years ago during a tour. After the tiring performances they enjoyed a holiday in the Caribbean sun. “I went away from home, because I wanted to. It was my decision. I decorated my flat myself. I am still good friends with my father, but I wanted some more privacy. I didn’t get the calm and space to write my own songs or just to take care of myself.”
Kim’s last record was released eighteen months ago, which is almost an eternity in the pop world. The big posters that used to be on every street corner have lost their colours in the mean time.
She still has her sexy image, however. “Image means nothing to me”, says Kim. “My new record company may want to play into it, but I don’t. My record company describes me as strong, feminine and courageous. I want to give them pure entertainment. I read interviews with popstars all the time, whining about how difficult their life is. I never do that. I just think: if there is a chance, I take it. I want to present myself well, and no holding backc. Success will come after that…”