Date: 30 May 2018
Originally published in: Bild der Frau (Germany)
She was the pop icon of the 80s: Kim Wilde. But she also went through many ups and downs. Today, the Briton feels more stable, has a foothold in her family. She talked to Bild der Frau about her career and aging.
If you read the name Kim Wilde, do you directly hear a catchy tune from “Kids in America”? The hit made the now 58-year-old pop singer in the 80s suddenly world famous. Much time has passed since then and things have changed a lot in Kim Wilde’s life. In the interview, Kim Wilde spoke openly about her career, her new album and her family.
Kim, the cover of your new album is very extraordinary. Who designed it?
My niece Scarlett painted it. She is the daughter of my brother Ricky, with whom I produced the album. She is very talented and has accompanied me on my tour for over ten years. For the last three years she has studied art in Australia. When I produced this album, I asked her to design the cover. I’m very proud of her.
The title of the album is ‘Here come the aliens’. What is that supposed to mean?
Yes, it is also the title of the first song on the album. And it tells of two experiences that I had. When I was eight years old, Neil Armstrong landed on the moon in 1969. I sat spellbound in front of the black-and-white screen and could barely believe what was happening. And then in 2009 I saw incredible lights in the sky. It was very cloudy, but it was clearly a UFO. Because even my neighbors saw these two lights, which shone like spotlights on our property. This is what the song is about. And I am convinced that aliens warn us that we will destroy our planet if we continue with the pollution. They know that we are doing a terrible job. And I believe that they implore us not to destroy our beautiful earth.
Do you really believe that there are aliens?
Naturally. And they are peacefully attuned to us. If they were evil, they could have destroyed us long ago. You have also visited us several times on earth. I’m a sci-fi freak, love science fiction movies like “Star Wars” or others.
You have written some songs with your brother and also sing several duets with him. What is the relationship with him?
We are only a year apart, grew up like twins. And we were both influenced by the music of the 60s. We loved the same music as teenagers, we were fans of glam rock, Abba liked Elvis Presley, Mike Oldfield. That was a great source of inspiration for us. We loved pop and dreamed of becoming musicians.
And there was never any jealousy between you?
No. He was even relieved when I actually became successful with the song “Kids in America”. He loved being the man in the background. He wrote the song together with our father Marty. Without him, I would not have succeeded either.
In the 80s you were an icon of pop music. Do you miss this time?
No (laughs). It was a wonderful time, in every way. It was an incredible time. Overwhelming, no doubt. Suddenly you were in demand internationally, a star. And then came the failure. I went through ups and downs, was unlucky in my first relationships. Anyway, I’m emotionally more stable today. This is also a gift of aging.
Really? What is the advantage of getting older?
I basically do not see problems as problems, but as challenges. It’s the same with aging. That too is a challenge in life where I can learn a lot. I’m happy that I’m aging pretty well. But I also pay attention to myself. I’m healthier today than I used to be.
Why is that?
I eat healthier, eat a lot of vegetables. But of course I can not resist a big piece of chocolate cake (laughs). I sleep a lot, drink a lot of water and a little alcohol, I do yoga and walking. And I work a lot in my garden. That is the key to a good and healthy long life. I also walk daily with our dog, a two-year-old Airedale Terrier named Boo. And in March we get another puppy named Rain.
How do you relax?
I meditate. That really helps me to relax.
Your children are now adults. Do they like your music? Are you following in your footsteps?
They are both musicians. They follow in my footsteps, but in different ways. My daughter is a singer/songwriter. She is not interested in the glamorous aspects of the profession (laughs). Our son is an incredible musician. He is very good at playing guitar and has a band. He tells me regularly that his band is the best unknown rock band in the world (laughs). And he is so sure that he will become famous.
Are they proud of their mother?
My daughter is proud of me. She is also very excited about my new project. Our relationship is very close. We are like friends, both love black clothes, share our handbags and leather jackets. She is a bit like me. My son, on the other hand, finds it more embarrassing what I do (laughs).
Your family already means a lot to you.
Absolute. My family stabilizes me. They are my love. I have been married for 20 years. And marriage gives me so much energy. I am surrounded by so much love, that is the most important thing in my life.
Is the new album the best?
It could be. I am very proud of it. I have dedicated it to the 80s, and it is a homage to the pop tradition. Music can bring people together.
Do you have a message to women?
Do not be afraid of getting older. There are so many unexpected gifts. You become wiser. You appreciate his past and can look back on many beautiful moments. You appreciate the little things in life more. If you’re in your 50s, do not wait any longer. You have no time to lose anymore. Do what you think you have to do. Be attentive and listen to yourself.