Granted, an attractive blonde has it easier in many cases than an ugly other. But beauty can also breed mistrust. Especially when beauty and success meet. In the case of Kim Wilde both came together. Critics became loud already. Preferred because of being blonde!
The success of her first single, released at the beginning of 1981, "Kids in America" was a surprise even for Kim Wilde. It doesn't happen every day, that a vinyl debut comes high in the charts worldwide and sells over two million times.
Kim Wilde became a star overnight. And as expected, there were critics who doubted Kim Wilde's talent. She was young, just turned 20, attractive and on top of it all, she was blonde. Of course it was just another mayfly, a fashion puppet, who was given a microphone for a fleeting moment.
Especially in the gossip columns and teenage magazines, the young Kim had a hard time to shake off the image of the blonde who had nothing to bring to the table herself. Her entry into the pop business was different from a pawn in the hand of a record producer. Kim simply grew up within the music scene. Her father Marty Wilde was a famous Rock n Roller, who had several hits at the end of the Fifties and the beginning of the Sixties. And Kim's brother Ricky had a musical career. Kim's road to take was clear.
Despite this, the critics wouldn't shut up. With image this is what happens. Has someone been given one, it won't be shaken off very fast. "I went in so fast, that I can still not believe it", Kim Wilde says, looking back. "Everything happened so fast, that I didn't understand it at first, what happened."
But Kim began to learn, step by step. She learned to deal with the press, who didn't take kindly to her at first. "During the first two years I have read so many stories with lies. It made me so mad, because there were so many unfair blows under the belt. Nowadays these stories don't hurt me as much, because I don't reach such articles anymore, whether they are positive or negative."
What irritated the reporters looking for sensations and scandals perhaps the most, that there weren't any scandals. And also about her private life there wasn't much to report, other than a few invented love affairs. Kim, not used to interviews in the beginning, developed into the perfect diplomat, who understands the importance to deflect unpleasant questions. "Many people have told me that I would be too diplomatic. I should say what I think more. I do that too, but I tend to think in a diplomatic way."
After two turbulent years and the first two albums "Kim Wilde" and "Select" Kim Wilde found more time and rest to think about herself. "And together with my family we built a professional management", Kim adds. "Since then we have more control over the activities and we can work after our own imagination."
The Big M Productions, the M stands for Marty, is located in Knebworth, Hertfordshire, 30 minutes by car north of London. That's where the Wilde Clan has also built their own studio. "With our own studio a dream has come true for me", says Kim Wilde. "Finally I can work on my own compositions and record parts under professional circumstances."
The new fifth album 'Another Step' proves that she has more influence on her records, which are still produced by her brother Ricky. She has co-written eight songs and co-produced one of them.
As proposed by the album title, 'Another Step' is another step, to be followed by others. "I want to be involved more in the process", Kim Wilde explains. "I might one day produce a whole album myself. Perhaps I will take another band under my wings and build it up. I love the work behind the scenes and I can imagine not being in the limelight myself one day."
It is not now, however. Soon Kim Wilde, who will become 26 years old on November 18, will be on stage. Two weeks ago Kim and her seven man backing band started on a European tour. A chance for critics to be convinced what is Kim Wilde's potential... despite attractive exterior and blonde hair.