“Nena gave me the necessary kick”

Bochum – Pop artist Kim Wilde (59) is on stage at the Zeltfestival Ruhr in Bochum on Saturday (tickets from 52,60 euros). In BILD she talks about her German fans, Nena and gardening.

You come from a family of musicians. Her father has been on stage since the 1950s, and her children have both become musicians. Can you imagine a life without music?
No, not at all! Since I was a toddler, music is the center of my life and the religion of my family. From this we derive our inspiration and motivation and everything we believe in. Music has never disappointed us but only rewarded us. I think it’s great that my kids go the same way, because we have more in common with them.

So you were never afraid or worried that the music business could harm your children?
I think the times are over when you had to worry about your own children being treated badly in the music industry. It looked different with my dad because the whole scene was much younger. He wondered if his daughter could have a harder time than a man. But today, in fact, we are talking about an industry, e.g. is very successful and lucrative in England. So choosing this profession has some advantages. However, that does not count anyway if you love music. Then you just go your own way and do not care if you end up in the Hollywood Bowl or in a small club – because both are equally enjoyable.

When did you play in front of a small audience for the last time?
Every now and then I still do that and play in a club that only fits 300 or 400 people. I love small, intimate shows because I can be so close to my audience.

In the 80s they were one of the biggest pop icons in Europe. Even today, you are still incredibly well-known here, but the fans are probably a bit more reserved. Are you missing the hype of the past?
Sometimes I can not believe that I’m still allowed to make music so successfully. After all, I am almost 60 years old. It’s even more fun for me today than it used to be. At that time, I mainly shot videos and was part of TV productions, but the stage performances were much too short. It looks different today, and for the first time in my career, I’ve just released a concert recording with Aliens Live.

What memories do you have of Germany and the German fans?
Germany was the first country I ever traveled to. It all started back then, ‘Kids in America’ just hit the charts. I hardly had any experience with traveling, especially not abroad, which is why my time in Germany has been very much remembered. It was impressive, I met so many people and won tons of fans who are still at my side. “

So your audience stayed with you?
Yes, the German fans are very consistent and wonderful. I also believe that many who come to my shows are happy to be on stage despite my age. Because my followers have aged with me and I with them. If they then see that someone like me is still touring, that of course also reassuring. Because it shows that life does not end because you are 50, 60 or Mick Jagger even 70 years old. My father is even touring with over 80 years. I’m sure if there was a miracle cure that would make one immortal, being a musician would be an asset. “

If one looks at you, you might think that you have already taken this miracle cure. You hardly seem to age…
(Laughs) My recipe has always been to do what I love. I know that I am very lucky with my life. My success with the music, my great family, my happy marriage that has lasted for over 25 years. At home we lead a very normal life. We have two dogs and I spend a lot of time gardening. In addition, I have never taken drugs and now drink no alcohol at all. So I live quite well.

Shortly after your wedding, you took a break from music and dedicated more to gardening. They even had their own TV show and published several books on the subject. How did the change happen?
The right time for a break had come. After all these years, I had lost a lot of the joy I had before when making music. In addition, I was already 36 or 37 years old when I met my husband, and we wanted to start a family. It was not hard for me to leave the stage.

Where do you feel more comfortable today: in the garden or on stage?
I can not say that. Luckily I do not have to decide. In the morning, even in bad weather, I often go to the garden and pluck weeds. Incidentally, this is much easier in the rain, because the ground is nice and soft. And then I come completely wet into the house – and love it. That’s therapeutic. It has even been shown that gardeners can help with depression or anxiety disorder. Gardening is so healthy.

Your comeback 2003 had a lot to do with Nena and the duet “Anyplace, Anywhere, Anytime”. Are you still in contact today?
Unfortunately, I do not see her too often, but there is a strong bond between us. And when I come to Germany, we also manage to meet every now and then. Both of us are very similar and she gave me back a lot of energy and faith in me and my music. She has motivated me and gave me the necessary kick in the butt. Nena is a force of nature, strong, ambitious and talented. The time with her was great.

Next you are in Bochum at the tent festival on the stage. What can your fans look forward to?
A journey through time. I will play many, many older songs. But of course some of the new ones too. I am really looking forward to it.