Copenhagen-born songstress Iris Gold is winning us over with her eclectic blend of old school hip-hop, sunshine pop and trippy-hippy beats.
Hailing from Freetown Christiana, Copenhagen-born songstress Iris Gold has had an upbringing more eclectic than most. Having grown up in an autonomous commune in Copenhagen – with a famously liberal, free-thinking anything-goes culture – Gold spent her days surrounded by hippy counter-culture and the sounds of he 60’s and 70’s, until one of her mother’s friends introduced her to some classic hip-hop.
Currently living in London, Gold cites her childhood – and her late discovery of contemporary music – as the fuel for her sound. Think beat driven loops, r&b production, elements borrowed from west coast pop and lyrics rooted in her background in storytelling. Having recently supported Blur, Taylor Swift and Robbie Williams, Gold is kicking’ it back with the best. Here, she talks exploding like the Incredible Hulk on stage, first autograph memories and making music to make people smile.
So you grew up in Freetown Christiana in Copenhagen, how has your upbringing influenced your music?
I grew up in different communes surrounded by people who lived this alternative lifestyle. Music was an important part of life, and travelling from one place to the next exposed me to lots of music from a different people of all different age groups. So whilst all the kids my age were listening to chart music, I was obsessed with bands like The Mama’s and Papas and The Doors. I was told I was an odd child in that respect! My mum had some cool DJ friends who sat me down one day and introduced me to classic hip hop like the Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, Salt ’n Pepper and KRS 1 – that, combined with the “hippy” music formed the basis for my own music.
How would you say both these styles helped you grow as an musically as an artist?
I like to think that I’ve been able to combine the music I have been listening to growing up with the contemporary current music to create a sound that emulates without ripping off either – I hope that when people hear my music they can hear both sides of the spectrum.
Do you still look to both styles for inspiration?
Yes, absolutely. It’s so important to me. I’ve got a massive respect for all genres of music. There’s nothing better than taking sounds from my roots and mixing it up with current popular music
Your music has been described as “sunshine pop and block-party hip hop”, how would you describe it?
Pop, old school hip hop, hippy vibes and big choruses people sing along to. It’s music that makes people smile!
That’s definitely true. So you currently live in-between London and Copenhagen, has your music style changed since relocating to England?
I’ve been lucky enough to work with some super talented writers in the past year in LA, Denmark, London & Sweden but my roots will always be my roots, and my music will always be influenced and inspired by what’s happening around me, no matter where I am.
When you started out did you see yourself playing massive gigs and supporting the likes of Blur and Taylor Swift?
No! I’ve had so many amazing opportunities this year, and playing with Blur, Taylor Swift and Robbie Williams has been a fantastic experience.
Talking about Blur and Taylor Swift, they are both two massively influential musicians/bands at the opposite end of the music spectrum – what did you learn from both about performing live?
Damon Albarn is such an expressive performer. His energy onstage is surreal, and Taylor Swift is an equally great performer with an army of unbelievably dedicated fans. I honestly think that it doesn’t matter what end of the spectrum you’re from, because when you go out onstage it’s all about just exploding, like the Incredible Hulk!
You’ve also played at The Great Escape, what’s been your career highlight to date?
After my set with Blur at Hyde Park, I met an 11 year old boy called Nathan who was with his mum. Nathan told me he’s heard my music online and that his mum took him to Hyde Park especially to see me play. That made my day, and it was the first autograph I ever signed, that was something else!