Kim Wilde: 'You can't take yourself too seriously when you sing "Kids in America" at 41 years!'

Date
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Télé Ciné Revue (Belgium)

Behind the scenes of a television broadcast on prime time. While the four musicians of the group Bond (the same who had posed naked behind their instruments) modestly close the door of their cabin to change, while the Frisian duo Twarres joyously sing while being accompanied with the guitar and while Laurent Voulzy relaxes while playing bass, Kim Wilde excuses herself to make us have patience in the corridor. In two minutes, after a last addition of make-up, the star of the eighties (41 years) indeed will give us an interview for the release of her compilation "The very best of Kim Wilde". While waiting, we discuss small things with the eternal accessory to Alain Souchon, whose name, on the door of its cabin, neighbor with a splendid print of the lips of Kim. To be forgiven for her delay, she will do another one for us on the small pocket of our CD!

It often happens that artists whose public presence diminishes in time publish a best of before returning with a new studio album. Is this your case?
Not, at all. I do not have a recording contract with a record company for the moment, and if I return with this compilation, it is because I did an eighties tour around the UK. EMI thought that it was the ideal moment to release a 'best of' and asked me whether I would like to contribute a new song. It is that Ricky, my brother, had just written a song with Terry Ronald, and we decided to record it. It is entitled "Loved" and so we had a "previously unreleased bonus track" on the album. In any case, we would never have imagined that this title would become a hit. It is a splendid surprise!

Could this unexpected success restart your career?
I do not know. Wait and see! Today, my career is more in the horticulture than in the music, and it is a little by accident that I reappeared in the showbusiness. I decided to make this tour at the beginning of the last year because I thought that it would be good... and because it paid well! (Laughs) But the success of "Loved" in the chart really took me by surprise.

Why did you gradually take your distances from songs? Because you realized that you preferred the flowers?
Yes, it is that! I returned to the school benches to study the horticulture because I was extremely frustrated not to be able to identify certain trees and shrubs when I worked outside. I thus put myself out there, so much so that I could launch my own television program on the subject. I also write for gardening magazines and I occupy myself much with my garden. Thus, this hobby was transformed into a flourishing activity, and I have enormous luck: I liked to sing and I made my trade of it, and I liked the gardening and it became my new occupation...

Are you happy with the way in which your life changed?
Oh, yes! Sincerely, it is now that I prefer it: I have an adorable husband (Hal Fowler, who played alongside her in the rock opera musical "Tommy", which she did in London in 1995 and 1996), two beautiful children (Harry, 4 years, and Rose, almost 2 years), who are both in good health, and a stimulating professional life. My pop career had been interesting in my eyes. When I put an end to it, six years ago, I had had enough of it really. It was time to turn to essential things, like having children and to raise them. It is what I currently do.

It is mainly due to the nostalgia of the public that you owe your return to the spotlights. What do you think of this revival of the music of the eighties?
I had a lot of pleasure to do this tour in the United Kingdom with Paul Young, Heaven 17, Curiosity Killed The Cat and others, because I had moved away from the trade such a long time ago already. But if I return now, it is before everything for benefitting from life: it doesn't matter much if I have no success. That will not change my existence...

Were you surprised that they asked you to go back on stage?
Completely. I was glad to work at home out of jean and T-shirt, with my hands in the ground, and then there was someone allowing me to come sing all my old hits again! Curiously, now that I am 41 years old, I withdraw more satisfaction from it than when I was 20. You cannot take yourself too seriously when you sing "Kids in America" at 41 years! (Laughs) Besides, people can see that I'm making fun with myself when I am on stage.

If a record company proposed to you tomorrow to record a studio album, would you accept?
I would probably be very content that someone would offer this chance to me, but I would also be annoyed, because that would imply that I would see less of my children. Thus, I wouldn't know how to think about this possibility. It is only an assumption! (Laughs) Today, I still like the music, but my priorities have changed. Madonna continued her career after the birth of her two babies, but I am not Madonna, Annie Lennox or anyone else: I am me, and my choice, it is to concentrate myself on my offspring. No problem if my career stops there.

All in all, that nevertheless pleases to you to become again a star from the time of some songs?
Yes, sure! That enables me to reinvent, to rediscover Kim Wilde. I let her out of the box to get her back on stage!

It is a situation which suggests a split personality, my word!
Exactly! In fact, Kim Wilde is in this bag (she points at her only luggage). At the same time, she is here! (Burst of laughter.) It is a kind of disguise which is summarized with some clothing and some lipstick...