“From now on I do what I want”

Everyone who grew up or who was in any other way young at heart during the blessed eighties, can sing along to ‘Kids in America’, the monsterhit by Kim Wilde. The blonde with the voloptuous lips – still England’s best selling female solo singer of all times – is the eighties icon for many. Lately the 45 year old Wilde was mainly doing gardening and raising kids, but now that has fortunately ended. Because sexy Kim is back, with a new album and a healthy dose of rock and roll.

Three years ago you scored a hit with eighties colleague Nena. But that single was almost your only musical feat of the last decade. What have you been doing?
In 1995 I met my husband Hal and around that time I got out of the business. I got tired of it. The music industry takes a lot out of you, but doesn’t give a lot back to you. Money and fame don’t mean a lot when your heart and soul are being neglected. When you’re twenty, that kind of life is exhilirating. But later on, you want more out of life. It was a liberation, being able to quit. Also, my career wasn’t much anymore. So I thought: just forget about it all.

But now you’ve gotten the itch again.
The last few years I did some live gigs, together with other eighties stars like ABC and Paul Young. There is a very successful circuit for that kind of music. I was the rock chick in that company, with a lot of leather and black clothes. It paid well, I had great company, it was very relaxed and I got to shed a few pounds while on stage. I also had enough time to wash the underpants of my husband and to get into bed at a respectable hour (laughs). From those gigs the desire to make an album ensued. I was surprised about that myself, because I had really left that part of my life behind. I wanted to do my own thing. ‘Never say Never’ is a pure rock ‘n’ roll record: loud, energetic, with lots of guitars and drums.

In England you were back in the limelight, albeit with something totally different: gardening.
During my first pregnancy I realised that I wanted to create a healthy environment for my kids, a magical place with butterflies and water and flowers and fresh fruit, where all their senses would be stimulated. I started studying horticulture. When the BBC was looking for new talent to present a gardening programme, they ended up with me. The press was very dismissive about it at first: ‘the failed pop star is going to fool around in the garden’. But I put all my energy in it. The programmes were watched by many people. I have published a few bestsellers about gardening and in 2005 I won a gold medal at the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show. That is called payback (laughs).

What do you say to your children when they want to start a pop career of their own?
The most important thing I can say to my children, is that they should get good business advice. It can all go horribly wrong when you don’t. Fortunately my mother has always taken care of my business. But besides that my pop career was enough fun to recommend the music industry to my children. Especially when I hear Harry play guitar in his room and when Rose is playing beautiful melodies on the piano…

On September 8, Kims new album ‘Never say Never’ is released. The first single, ‘You came’ is in the record stores as of August 18.