Goldie – Timeless
A native of Walsall, England, Goldie was born to a Scottish-Jamaican couple and put up for adoption. He bounced around child-care homes and several sets of foster parents during his childhood years, and became fascinated with the rise of hip-hop, breakdancing, and graffiti art.
By 1986, he was involved with breakdancing crews around his home of Wolverhampton; after making several trips to London for all-day breakdancing events. He also spent time in New York and Miami, it was in Miami where he met his father and started working in a market stall selling customised gold teeth. However he decided to move back to England in 1988. For a time, Goldie worked at the Try 1 shop in Walsall (also selling gold teeth), then moved to London.
He began hanging out with two fellow heads from the British hip-hop scene, Nelle Hooper and 3-D, and by 1991 he’d been introduced to the breakbeat culture that birthed jungle. Goldie was hooked on the sound of raw breakbeat techno, and he gradually switched his allegiance to jungle from the British hip-hop scene that later generated trip-hop.
He recorded his first single as Ajax Project, then debuted on Reinforced as Metalheadz with two 1992 singles, “Killermuffin” and “Menace.” The 1993 single “Terminator” broke him into the jungle scene, and he helped the genre jungle grow massively.
His first major-label single was “Timeless,” and his debut album of the same name followed in August 1995. He gained additional fame in early 1996, when an American tour supporting Björk sparked a relationship between the two and led to a brief engagement period before they called off a wedding. Goldie resurfaced in 1998 with a high-profile follow-up, Saturnz Return an epic two-disc set. The album tanked with critics and fans, leading to a return to the underground later that year with the Ring of Saturn EP.
Goldie’s career over the next two decades became less and less music-focused. He turned his hand to acting, appearing in Guy Richies’s Snatch, the James Bond film The World Is Not Enough, and the perennial BBC soap opera Eastenders.
He was awarded an MBE on the Queen’s 2016 Honours list for services to music and young people. A career-spanning compilation, The Alchemist was released by Rhino in 2013. His third solo studio album and first in nearly two decades, entitled The Journey Man, came out earlier in 2017.
01:45 Brian’s thoughts on the episode.
04:19 Brian’s introduction.
04;50 What am I? Who am I? I’m an alchemist.
07:48 How different art forms are born out of the social climate.
20:01 Goldie’s experience of the Bronx, its graffiti artists and evolution of the modern music scene.
32:48 The struggle made the art and they had to get it out of themselves to live.
35:00 England must learn from New York’s past mistakes and embrace diversity.
37:43 Goldie believes in Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London.
46:08 Why Goldie didn’t stay in America.
47:40 Witnessing the making of gold teeth encrusted with diamonds confirmed his artistic leanings.
55:44 What Goldie sees as his golden age opportunity.
1:00:04 Goldie doesn’t play the big violin, he’s found his orchestra as others must find theirs.
1:14:00 Goldie meets David Bowie. Life is a single sequence of consecutive miracles set within infinite moments over billions of years.
1:23:15 Why he went into the Big Brother house.
1:26:48 Goldie shares an insight into his unstable family life in the ghetto.
1:30:02 What the album Journey Man is about.
1:36:01 Crazy times; memories of playing venues worldwide and returning home to play Roundhouse,
1:40:56 What scares the life out of Goldie and his advice to young people.
1:43:06 Insightful phone call to the 20 year old Goldie.
1:45:16 Brian’s summing up.
Goldie on YouTube
Goldie on Wikipedia
The Journey Man (Album)
Lost tribes (art show)
All Things Remembered
The World Is Not Enough (film)
The Hoffman Process
Crossroads Centre, Antigua
Flying Cut Sleeves (documentary)
Hand of Doom by Seen
The Projects in New York
Savage Skulls (Gang)
Who Shot Biggie and Tupac?
La Haine (film)
K-Rock (radio station)
The Bridge (album)
Beethoven piano sonata No. 32 in C minor Opus 111
St Anne’s Court, London
Ronnie Scotts, London
South Bank, London
People mentioned in this episode:
Gladys Knight and the Pips
The Breakers (American band)
Leonardo da Vinci
Ludwig van Beethoven
“Mad” Mike Banks