A day with Kim Wilde

You debuted in January 1981 with ‘Kids in America’, how did it come about?
My brother made a demo, he asked me to sing backing vocals and we went to the studio. He went to different record companies, and shortly afterwards, I signed my first contract.

It was therefore unexpected. Surprise…?
Yes and no. In the beginning I did not think about a career in music and it was a surprise that it took off so quickly. I always loved music, took singing lessons and sought out the company of music enthusiasts. So I was not caught off guard, that’s all! I believe that my musical desires were unconscious but well installed in a corner of my mind.

Many hits, four albums, from ‘Kim Wilde’ to ‘Teases and dares’, the award for the best female singer received from the BPI in 1983. How do you experience this success?
Personally, I don’t think I’ve changed. You know, life of artists is sometimes difficult. It’s not that success changes you, but those around you do. Sure, it’s nice and you can only appreciate it. I am 25 years old, and I want to enjoy life. To know success, you must however work hard, impose constraints. And then, you are constantly solicited by the press, the TV, finally, you know, success requires a lot from you.

In France, Laurent Voulzy has dedicated a song to you. How did this come about?
I did not know Laurent at first. I was at home, in London, when my agent phoned me to tell me that Laurent Voulzy wanted to dedicate a song to me. My first reaction was a certain fear and a certain timidity. I let the tape drag on the table for several days. Then I cracked and although I did not understand the exact meaning of the lyrics, I really enjoyed the music. Later, Laurent telephoned me and we met. It was decided that I would take part in the disc. Since we have become good friends.

Teases & Dares marks a turning point in your career. This is the first time that you personally involved him in the writing of the songs, with two titles. Why this ‘commitment’ suddenly?
When you sing, I think there comes a time when you want to sing what you feel, what touches you. The music is in you, so powerful, that it urges you to write. In a way, it is also a way to thank my audience, to communicate directly with them and to give myself completely, by the song. And then, it is important for me to write, because it allows me to direct my career as I see fit.

You’ve co-written many songs with your brother, Ricky, and your father, Marty. A desire or a need?
When I decided to write with Ricky and Marty, it was because I wanted to write and was afraid to write. You know, it’s not that obvious to be in front of an empty page and writing down thoughts, impressions, ideas… It takes courage. With the members of my family, it’s more simple.

‘Schoolgirl’ is the single from your next album, an album that features five or six songs you’ve written or co-written. You also performed at the Royal Albert Hall at a concert to benefit Greenpeace. Is it a manifestation of a more active engagement?
Ah! As I said, I feel the need to write. A need that rumbles in me, which invades me and suddenly explodes. But there is no specific message, I express what I feel, what affects me. And I consider it a duty to participate in any movement or manifestation in favor of humanity. Greenpeace is only one of these movements. There are certain things that can not be accepted. We are human beings.

You sing on the music of the film ‘Running Scared’, a rewarding experience? New ideas?
I have great pleasure to work on this project, it is exciting and you let yourself quickly caught in the trap of the magic of the film …
You let yourself be surrounded. Me, it made me want to go even further, to write music of films. And then write for other singers. It is a challenge, an ambition that pleases me.

A cinematographic career?
It’s not quite the same thing. When you write, you play an active role, on the other hand, you play a passive role if you are comedien because you are subject to the character you represent. It’s an experience that fascinates me! Who has never dreamed of being someone else for a few moments.

Playing live. Special importance?
Yes, I do not believe that a true artist can do without the stage and the public, it must not be forgotten either that it is this same public that makes and defeats the quarries. Personally, I need to establish direct contact with him. But you must also remember that some people come to see you to be directed, bewitched, possessed … It is fascinating to mobilize people and direct their emotions. When you do the stage, it is as if everyone, artist and public, learns to know each other better.

So the show has a secondary role?
Not really. A concert, it is also the fete, the show, the exit, everything is important: the games of light, space free or busy, the songs chosen, what you wear …. This is the whole Which allows you to create an atmosphere, a certain atmosphere. It is a different way of communicating, of directing the mind.

Your new album will soon be released, new projects?
Yes, including a European tour for October-November. Then, some surprises …