Published: 00:00, 26 March 2014
| Updated: 15:56, 26 March 2014
Superstar DJ, actor and graffiti artist are the sides of Goldie you may already be aware of; but yoga devotee, musical composer, and accomplished artist behind a gallery exhibition in a small Kent village? Perhaps less so.
Real name Clifford Price, Goldie had a start in life that was disadvantaged to say the least and turned it into two fistfuls of grasped opportunities. He used every talent available to him – and there are many – to first conquer the urban street scene, and then pretty much the world in entertainment and arts terms.
If that sounds like an exaggeration then remember his acting CV alone includes the James Bond movie Die Another Day and Guy Ritchie’s Snatch alongside Brad Pitt.
Now aged 48 and with his commitment to underground drum ‘n’ bass music as fervent as ever, Goldie is just as in demand for what might be considered the more highbrow projects of art exhibitions, theatre performances and orchestral compositions.
Returning to Kent – his old stomping ground during the 1990s days of raves at Lydd Airport – as headline DJ at the Pure Science dance party in Folkestone this weekend, What’s On managed to pin this multi-faceted character down.
You’re a man of many talents. Which one came first?
“Art was my first passion. It was an artistic form of expression within a deprived community. I had a traumatic childhood and was always in care. I never knew my father, who was Jamaican.
Once I started painting it became a way of life and a natural progression. The streets were a blank canvas for young kids to speak out and express their feelings with spray cans. It’s ironic now that street artists are being offered exhibitions all over the world in high-end galleries. I just conducted a high-profile exhibition in the heart of Mayfair entitled The Lostribes. I also recently went back to New York to paint with The Tats Cru who I have a lot of respect for. They took me under their wing back in 1986, when I was immersed in subway art and painting trains.”
It’s perhaps a lesser-known fact that you also became a breakdancer in your youth. How did that start?
“I was a member of a couple of crews, the latter being the BBoys. There was a strong breakdance movement sweeping the nation and it was another form of expression. Nowadays most kids have Xboxes and Playstations to keep them occupied. We never had all that, so dancing was a way of life. I recently produced a documentary for Red Bull and revisited Heath Town [in Goldie’s native Wolverhampton] where I met some of my old BBoy crew and cut some moves.”
You established a reputation as a world class graffiti artist early on, which led to a spell in New York, so when did you decide to add DJ to the CV?
“When I first came back from New York to live in London in 1991 I went to Rage in London. Seeing the drum ‘n’ bass DJs Fabio and Grooverider playing there transformed things for me and I soon took to the decks. I now DJ every weekend all over the world. The majority of my gigs are outside the UK and I tour Asia, America and frequently perform in Russia.
Producing and DJing work alongside each other. I think to become a successful DJ nowadays, production is essential. I released my first single Terminator in 1992. In the last few years I have remixed tracks for Ed Sheeran, Ian Brown and Calvin Harris. I’m currently working on my new studio album which incorporates many live elements, and am re-notating and scoring my 1995 album Timeless for an orchestral concert at the Royal Festival Hall on London’s Southbank in June.”
And the acting?
“The phone call for the James Bond part [Goldie played Bullion, the bodyguard of Robbie Coltrane’s bad guy Valentin Zukovsky in The World Is Not Enough] just came out of the blue! Playing a villain for me just came naturally, and I guess the director also envisaged that. I’ve been offered many films since Bond and Snatch, but the timing wasn’t right as I was deeply engrossed in other artistic projects. Both Bond and Snatch were real fun. I was blessed to work with the likes of Brad Pitt and Robbie Coltrane on set. I remember when Pierce Brosnan came up behind me and in his mouth he had Jaws’s silver teeth, which was hysterical considering I had, and still have, gold!”
Playing the gangster Angel Hudson in EastEnders from 2001 to 2002 took you into the realms of household name. Do you remember that time fondly?
“It was a good experience and another acting role. I always get stopped in London and so many people remember me for EastEnders. I got along with most of the cast and was quite a joker. I see many of the actors on a regular basis and some even pop up in night clubs when I DJ. I’m good friends with Kara Tointon now and she came to my last art exhibition.”
What’s your latest acting project?
“I’m playing the lead role right now in Kingston 14, a play set in modern-day Jamaica. It follows the story of James, a black British police officer who is sent to Kingston to investigate the murder of an English tourist in a local hotel. He’s deeply tied to Jamaica by his father who was born there, and he struggles to lead a proper investigation when the gang leader Joker – played by me – is brought into custody. It runs from Friday, March 28 until April 26 at The Theatre Royal in Stratford East, London. The production is written by the award-winning playright Roy Williams and designed by Olivier Award-winning designer Ultz.”
How have your motivations changed over the years?
“I don’t think there was any initial motivation. But now I’m an artist and an alchemist. I have a solid team around me that all pull together. I’m very motivated and hardly sleep. Bikram Yoga keeps me fully focused - full of energy and creativity.”
How has the drum ‘n’ bass scene changed over the years?
“It’s stronger than ever. Other music styles evolve out of drum and bass. I play underground and continue to play small credible venues all over the world. The Leas Cliff Hall is a large venue for drum and bass. There’s a great demand for our music in Kent and the scene is vibrant. All my artists on Metalheadz [Goldie’s music recording label] continue to produce underground music and keep it real. Drum ‘n’ bass can be a mystical journey – the dark synths and bass can penetrate and cut you like a knife!”
How well do you know Kent yourself?
“Well Kent is the Garden of England! I used to come down to the World Dance raves in Lydd. My manager, Eddie Lock, has a gallery full of my art in Lenham, a lovely medieval village. I’ve also played many of the Pure Science parties in Ashford and Maidstone, and I’m really looking forward to this one in Folkestone.”
PURE SCIENCE - TICKET DETAILSGoldie headlines a DJ line-up featuring other accomplished drum ‘n’ bass names including Hype, Sigma, Randall and Brockie at the 17th birthday party of club night Pure Science at the Leas Cliff Hall, Folkestone, on Saturday, March 29. Tickets from £22.50. Call 07850 723596. Visit www.deftickets.co.uk
The gallery in Lenham, Kent, is a private gallery which is available to view by appointment only. Visit www.eddielocke.co.uk for more information about Goldie’s artwork and how to view it, and www.goldie.co.uk for more information on the range of Goldie’s projects.
Kingston 14 is showing at the Theatre Royal, Stratford East, London from Friday, March 28 until Saturday, April 26. Tickets from £10. Call 0208 5340310.
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