Goldie is a singer and a songwriter. This Ikole-Ekiti, Ekiti State born diva is heating up the music scene with her flamboyant dress-sense and songs. Sometimes referred to as Nigeria’s Lady Gaga, Goldie whose real name is Oluwabimpe Harvey, started out at a very young age. She spoke with KATE HALIM recently. Excerpts:
How did you come up with the name Goldie?
My friends in the UK nicknamed me Goldie because of the colour of my skin and hair. You see, I was born a red head. I like to refer to myself as a “ginger albino” bronze skin, bronze hair. When I was very young, my mates used to taunt me by calling me “Afin Pupa’’ (albino) and the like. But as I got older, I realized that extreme sunlight wasn’t good for my skin and stayed out of the sun.
Eventually, my skin tone evened out in the UK because the weather is more temperate there, hence the nick name. I decided to take the name as a stage name because it came to mean so much to me. Gold is rare, precious, everyone wants a bit of it, or a lot of it and it is also very expensive. It can be used to define all things good, and I wanted my brand to stand for all these qualities and more.
Your video, You Know It, with Eldee raised the stakes in the industry, how did you do that?
It’s the grace of God really, coupled with the support and direction of my Record company ‘Kennis Music, Clarence Peters able talents as video director and cinematographer. All the cast and crew involved in the making of the video put in their best. I know the video is what it is because of a lot of collaboration and effort on the part of everyone involved and I thank God for that.
What are you working on at the moment?
Kennis Music has a lot of stuff we are working on. My album has been released and we are planning an international edition release of the same album later. Slogan Tee shirts are in the process of being made, among other stuffs. I am keeping my fingers crossed, I don’t want to reveal too much yet.
When did your foray into music begin?
I have always been an entertainer from a very young age. I remember my mum saying I had so much flair for the arts. That she wondered how I always managed to come in the top three positions in my class grades in primary school. I sang in my junior church choir. I was also a part of most of my school plays and musical dramas in secondary school. I never thought I would go into music full time though, but I always knew I would end up doing some form of entertainment work or the other.
In the UK, my friends and I formed an informal pop rock band, where we played and performed for friends/families, in local gigs and some pubs. Back in Nigeria, I had set up a small business, (a date reminder service) and I wanted a jingle created for radio broadcast. I was introduced to a radio broadcaster, and we sat down to create the jingle. He is also a very talented producer and had me listen to some tracks he had produced himself. I was very excited. He ended up producing some tracks for me in a studio. While there, I was introduced by a mutual friend to OJB. My first recording with OJB was February 2007 and my first video was released in April 2007.
What fired your love for music in the first place?
I have a passion for music, it’s inborn. From a young age, my parents unwittingly made me appreciate the value of music in our home. I come from a very musical background. Both my parents love and used to listen to different genres of music.
What is the title of your album?
The album is titled GOLD and it was released this month.
Which label were you with before you joined Kennis music?
I have never been signed to any label. I had a tentative deal with PHI records based in Scotland. For the deal to have materialized though, would have meant me relocating there; which I had no intention of doing at the time.
What is your deal with Kennis Music?
It is a big deal. It is also huge, one I find very favourable.
What else do you do apart from singing?
Music is a 24-hour job for me right now. These days I have little time for anything else.
Are you a good stage performer too?
I put in a lot of efforts before going on stage. Efforts on wardrobes, dance routines, choreography, and story lines. My fans have applauded my stage performances, so I guess my efforts must be paying off.
How do you feel being one of the best female musicians in Nigeria?
I see it as a challenge to keep working and turn out a more beautiful material, by God’s grace.
What dreams do you have about your career?
Oh! That my music will take me to places. I would like to effect positive changes in the lives of my fans and in the world as a whole through the power of my music.
How has music rewarded you financially?
I thank God, it is paying the bills and keeping me going.
You are being referred to as Nigeria’s Lady Gaga, why is this so?
I think it is as a result of my choice of wardrobe, and the eclectic drama that surrounds my music/stage/video works as an artiste. I am flattered at the reference to Lady Gaga, I think she is a famous international icon and a very strong woman. I don’t see myself as a Lady Gaga, I’d rather people saw me as Goldie, but if Lady Gaga is how people see me, then I humbly accept the title. Hopefully, I’ll sell as many records as she has sold too.
You love heavy make-up and bold dresses, what prompted this?
Make-up has always been a tool good performers use before they get on stage. Should I start naming names? We have Prince, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Elton John, to name a few. I’m not even talking about recent celebs. These were people we all as entertainers in this industry used to look up to. I personally think make-up is something that is part of a performer’s stage persona. Having said that though, I don’t think I use excessive make-up. I use just the right amount of foundation, mascara, blusher and eye shadow like everybody else. I think firstly because I am light skinned, everything I put on my face appears loud. Secondly, I think also that it is the total combination of my attires, my dress sense that adds to the whole ‘too much make-up’ thing.
Who is your style icon and why?
I used to look up to Madonna when I was little. I simply adored her eclectic and unique style. That coupled with the fact that she was also a trendsetter in many ways.These days, I look up to myself as my very own style icon. This is because I know what suits my body and how I want to be seen. I draw inspiration from some Couture designers, but I’m not a fashion trend follower, I’m a fashion trendsetter.
What does style mean to you?
Style to me means comfort, elegance, and beauty. For you to be stylish, you have to be comfortable in what you are putting on. Only then would you exude the confidence that brings about elegance. It means you have to carry yourself well. When you are confident, people will see the beauty in you. That’s style.
What fashion item can’t you part with?
I love wearing shorts. I don’t have cellulite yet, so I can still wear my shorts. I feel free, unrestricted and sexy in any pair of shorts I put on. If I can team this up with any beautiful pair of six-inch heels, and an appropriate blouse, then, I’m good to go.
How would you describe your journey in music so far?
It has been a learning experience, I have grown not only as an artiste, but also as an individual. There’s nothing like waking up with the certainty of uncertainty. An experience in personal development, that’s how I would describe my journey so far.
What are your likes and your dislikes?
I like good food, music and happy people. I dislike lies, pride, wickedness and selfishness. I like caring, truthful, humble and generous folks.
What are your views about indecent dressing in the industry?
Our bodies are meant as tools of self expression. You dress how you want to be seen or remembered. In my opinion, a woman or man should wear whatever they feel comfortable in and what flatters their body type, as long as it’s not inappropriate. An example of inappropriate dressing would be wearing a bikini to the bank.
You have been linked with one or two scandals, how does that make you feel?
In the beginning I used to feel really bad. Now, with the love and understanding of my family and extended family, Kennis Music, I have been able to take it all with a pinch of salt.
It is alleged that you are engaged with same sex relationship with a famous rap artiste, how true is this?
It’s an allegation as you’ve rightly said. It is not true and so, I have nothing to say.
Have you ever been in love?
I have loved. If the definition of being in love is loving someone and the person loving you back, then yes, I have been in love.
Who was your first love and why did you part ways with him?
I had someone that I really loved who loved me as well. But the size of his member was too big, such that the gap between us also became too big. There were no compromises, we simply had to part ways.
Have you had your heart broken?
Whenever people I trust implicitly let me down by betraying my trust, a little piece of my heart gets broken. So yes, I have had my heart broken hard. I moved on and learned to trust people less.
Have you broken any hearts as a pretty young lady?
It has never been my intention but, I guess so. I believe in lust at first sight. Love is something bigger and shouldn’t be trivialized or mistaken for physical attraction, which is basically what most folks term as love at first sight.
Has it happened to you?
Yes. I have lusted at first sight, but then you get to know the person more and you are like I can’t love this person.
Do you have any regrets in life?
Not really, I mean there are moments you wish were better. There are also stuffs you wish you could take back, but in the end, the experiences I have had, good or bad, have made me the strong girl I am today.
Any happy and sad moments?
Yes, I do like everyone else. I am human and often times, for no reason I tend to have very terrible mood swings which I deal with by writing.
My kind of man
Fun, helpful, patient, generous. Not too loud, and not too reserved either. He must have a very high moral standard.
Are you planning on settling down soon?
Isn’t that the plan of most women? Yes, it’s in my plans.