Kim hasn’t lost her wild hair yet

This month Kim Wilde is coming to our country for six performances. She says she is looking forward to it and warns: “If you expect a quiet night out, it is better to stay at home.”

Kim Wilde was barely twenty when she made her name with Kids In America in one fell swoop. The jumpy new wave song hit the charts worldwide in the early eighties. It was not a surprise to her. More a confirmation of what she already knew as a child. “I don’t want to come across as arrogant,” Kim Wilde says on the phone, “but from an early age I knew I wanted to do something in music. That feeling was so strong. Music was my calling. Kids In America was therefore not so much a surprise as a huge relief. ”

In a family where father / rock and roll singer Marty Wilde and mother Joyce Baker of The Vernon Girls had made showbiz a daily routine, handling fame was no problem for young Kim. “You have an advantage with such parents. They knew the pitfalls of success. But they also knew their way around the pop world and had the necessary contacts. Musicians and producers always came to us. ”

Mom and Dad Smith’s genes (as the family is actually called) are deeply rooted in daughter Kim. “I’m almost 56 now, but my voice is better than ever. I got that from my father. He celebrated his greatest successes in the 1950s and 1960s, but is still performing. Now, at 76, he still has a voice like a clock. ”

Kim Wilde’s enthusiasm buzzes from the phone. She sounds like she can hardly wait to climb the stages again. “We start with two shows in Germany and then we come to the Netherlands. In November I will be doing a tour through Australia together with singer Howard Jones. ”

Yet there was a time when the high-blonde singer preferred to avoid live performances. “In the beginning I hated singing live on stage. Just because I was unsure about my voice. You have to keep in mind that on TV and in video clips I always mimed, so I hardly gained any experience as a singer. That really took its toll on me.”

The cover came during the tour with Michael Jackson. “In 1988 my album Close came out at the same time as Bad. I was asked to open Michael’s shows on the Bad tour. A fantastic experience. Michael was then at his peak. Through him I learned to put my insecurity aside and to believe in myself one hundred percent. He himself was a shy and introverted person, but as soon as he got on stage he threw off all hesitation. It became clear to me that in such a situation you must feel that you are the very best singer in the world. A thought that you should immediately dismiss when you step off the stage. ”

Some time later, she cashed in on Jackson’s lessons during the Sound & Vision tour with David Bowie. However, it did not stop her from leaving the pop world some time later. She still acted in the musical Tommy, but eventually opted for the quiet family life. “Peaceful family life you say? Forget it. Nothing is as hectic as raising children, ”she laughs. “But indeed, I did take a step back. I threw myself into my family and rediscovered an old hobby: gardening. That even became a second career. I wrote books about it and was asked to do TV shows. Gardening was a calm and creative alternative for me. It still is actually. ”

More or less by coincidence Kim Wilde ended up in music again. From the beginning of this millennium, the eighties were back in vogue and in the wake of contemporaries such as Paul Young, Heaven 17 and The Human League, she was fully involved in that circuit again. And then there was also the unexpected number one success of Anyplace, Anywhere, Anytime with the German singer Nena. “I ran into her at a party and she asked me if I wanted to record a duet with her. I think I have been in the studio for less than an hour to record the take. Nena herself was not there. A few weeks later a friend of mine called and said: You are number one in the Netherlands. I couldn’t believe my ears. ”

Kim Wilde is far from tired of her big hits. “Oh no. They are timeless songs and the audience that wants to hear them is still growing. Really, I’ll keep singing Chequered Love, Cambodia and View From A Bridge until I drop dead. ”