Date: 12 October 2006
Originally published in: CitéGay website (France)
Imperial return for the queen of British pop, more than ever in Hype. She meets CitéGay to speak about this new scintillating album, in all complicity…
Have you already met the legend? I want to speak truly about the meeting with an inspiration and muse of many artists, such as our own Laurent Voulzy.
“Laurent, il est l’heure de se réveiller, enlève tes lunettes”, do you remember?
And well yes Kim Wilde is back, with a strong album: re-recorded hits and new compositions, of which some are gauged for the dance-floor. At the outside of the hotel where I have appointment the sun does not leave any respite, but as of my entry in the hall, I see arriving a superb blonde who illuminates even more the part.
The delicate silhouette wraps glamour of it black, it does not miss almost any more that the cigarette-holder, and I am in the presence of a lady, icon eternally young and smiling. This promises to be one moment of exception and while installing to me I am struck by the beauty of this glance, if gorged with emotion and generosity.
Kim good evening, thank you for seeing me. And happy to see you return… But why did you leave?
In fact, at some point I had enough of always being observed. I did not feel myself any more in the trade, and I had the impression to have said all, that there was no more really of challenge to take up. I became aware of it as of the end of the tour I did with Michael Jackson in 1988. Then with the arrival of groups like Spice Girls, I did not feel part of it all anymore! And then whereas I did not believe in it any more, I met my husband! As what at 36 years all arrives. I had two beautiful children and thus I naturally wanted to more devote me to my family. In 1995, I thus made the advertisement of the stop of my career, with the intention to reconvert me into the horticulture. When I retired I never really thought I would be back on the stage again. And so here I am! (laughs)
I imagine that the choice of the title of this album Never Say Never is a wink, on this change of decision…
Yes absolutely, but also especially it is in connection with my experiment of woman, who discovers that the life can really hold surprises! My life is completely insane. To resume studies, to succeed in the design of gardens, to be rewarded for that, to publish books and to be recognized for other thing that my career of singer, it was so unexpected when one thinks of it. And then this return is still something which even I did not expect. The title of the album is the idea that really all can arrive, at the time even where one can think that the plays are made. Musically I spent time to know what I could again propose, and I finally found.
And well precisely, why not have returned with a new album 100%, only of the new songs?
In fact everythig started with a project with Nena, which I know well since the Eighties, and with whom I even sang a duet in 2003, entitled ‘Anyplace, anywhere, anytime’. Initially she contacted me to come to sing in duet on one of her songs. To my great surprise, I took much pleasure there. And so the idea of a best of album took off. And I said ok, whereas I would not have thought for one second that one day I was going to sing again. and especially not Kids in America!!! It was very odd when I found myself in studio, it is as if I had left it the day before. But with the producer Uwe (Fahrenkrog-Petersen), who for Nena must be the equivalent to what Ricky, my brother is for me, one did not want to be satisfied with a simple joining of the last titles. We needed to re-record all that to give them some new freshness. And I made a point of incorporating new songs on it, by keeping the sound of Kim Wilde.
Among these new titles, there is the very effective Forgive Me, cut for the dance-floors. You returned to replace Madonna?
Leave Madonna where she is [she smiles]. She is a fabulous artist but I do not really envy her destiny. Being obligated to live surrounded by bodyguards non-stop, or to have to call upon nannies to raise her children, it is not my ideal. The family above all!
This album explores rather different styles. Who could have thought for example, that you would do reggae with Baby Obey Me.
And well why not! [laughs] You know in fact it was one of the first songs which we selected for the album. It passed by many versions and at the beginning it was very different from what it is today. I really had fun with these words, sometimes funny but also serious, because I actually wrote it right after I married, 10 years ago. It had become slightly SM, and I could not prevent me from imagining the video, and to see me holding my husband on a leish! [Laughter] You see all the album was very fun to make. The new songs have something very adventurous.
Which is your favourite new song?
Difficult to say, but if I had to give a name, it would be “I Fly” that I like much, because it is very sexy, and I think that it contains lots of interesting ideas to make a good video. You know I always thought of the pop music in a visual way. When I create a song, I try to see the strong images which could result from this.
Returning to your beginnings: did you have what one could call a plan of career, did you want to be a rock’n’roll-star?
In fact my concern was purely pop, and I wanted simply to make the best pop music there is. It is a music which crossed large changes between my beginnings in 1981 and now, the era of the 21st century! And during this very long period, except perhaps of course for the last ten years, I wanted to really create what there was best in this field. Sometimes I arrived there, and sometimes it was not the case, and that plunged me in the distress. Today my desire did not move, I found the flame, but I was almost taken by surprise! The motivation, thing which always represented a mystery for me. A reason should be made me: To sing it is my destiny! [Laughs]
Kim, for the French you are a British version of Bardot, do you think like her, you could have an unspecified influence with regard to the Women’s Liberation?
No, I never thought of having an unspecified mission, nor to be a model for anyone. I never wished besides to express moral judgement on anyone. I am only a one singer, I do not present myself at the elections! [Laughs] Of course on the other hand the concept of responsibility is more complicated than that. Everyone, in daily life and according to the activities which are clean for him, has a share of responsibility on its entourage or the company. While being famous and pop star, I imagine that it is the same thing, but it is a thorny subject.
And why do you think of having a particular place in the court of the gay public?
Yes it is true one said that to me! [Smiles] You cannot know how much something like that pleases me. I think that it is especially a history of honesty. The gay public is more sensitive to the artists who show, and who share really moments of their life with them. It is that which gives rise to a real empathy, which becomes an irresistible force. I also think that the gays share with me a certain joy in life quite simply. It is fantastic!
The new album contains a duet with Nena, and the reprise of Kids in America with Charlotte Haterley, guitarist of Ash, who wrote a song entitled ‘Kim Wilde’, in 2004. One knows well your duet with Laurent Voulzy, less that which was only televised, with Johnny Hallyday. With which would like you to sing today?
Oh Laurent Voulzy is really adorable, we have contact again every evening right now. And Johnny Hallyday, is he still alive? He always has appointments with superb creatures? [Laughter] Either seriously in this moment I particularly appreciate a group which is called The Feeling, which is not yet known in France, but that will come. Their songs are really very good. I like Rufus Wainwright also enormously, and in another style, I am a very large fan of Lily Allen, which I listen to in loop.
Lily Allen is an artist discovered thanks to the Web. There do you believe that the music in found a new ground of development?
Yes of course. I think that it is fantastic, that services are set up in order to make it possible to the musicians to diffuse directly their open and that the young people has a direct access to those. On this point we live really a formidable time. I like much the idea of idea and music, exchange of information. It develops curiosity and that is essential. Myself I communicate as far as possible, with my fans, via my Myspace page. I like much to receive the impressions of the fans on my way of evolving, and of knowing what they think of what I became, compared to my beginnings.
Tell me Kim, in the fact why you had not taken part in famous Live Aid, which joined together the cream of the popstars in 1985?
That is an excellent question!!! It’s one that I asked myself for a long time. I believe quite simply that it is because at the time one did not call me. And then I believed to understand that another artist present at the time didn’t want me to become part of the adventure. But it would be extremely inappropriate of my share to say some more.
Ok, they is quite mysterious all that. Last question: Will we see you soon in concert in France?
Of course, I hope so. In theory it is planned for the next year, if all is well.
Thank you Kim, I reserve my place as soon as it is available. Considering the interest that you always cause it is a good bet that you are “back for good”. It will be difficult to wait. We can comfort ourselves by listening to “Never Say Never”, without moderation, or going to see film of Christophe Honore “In Paris”, which uses the song “Cambodia” in the soundtrack. It is to say if the name of Kim Wilde is in the hype in this moment! One is held also ready to applaud to you in front of our tele, at the time of your appearance at the beginning of November on France 2 in the “Symphonic Show”. See you soon beautiful lady!