For singer Iris Gold the concept of home has nothing to do with four walls. She can be anywhere, and as long as her heart and son are there with her, so is the feeling of home. You could therefore argue this touring artist has many homes – one of them is in music.
Gold released her first single in 2015 and has since spellbound the industry with her self-made genre: Hippie Hop. With a skyrocketing career, Gold has already solidified herself as an exceptional live performer with concerts around Europe, as well as having shared the stage with international artists such as Robbie Williams and Taylor Swift. In April this year, she released her second album ‘Woman’, produced in collaboration with Eurythmics-legend Dave Stewart, and on October 22nd, her praised concert-spirit can once again be experienced at DR Koncerthuset.
We met the singer at her studio for a chat about home, self-expression, and staying true to yourself.
What does this place mean to you?
I was introduced to it by a band member in 2017 when I moved from London to Copenhagen. I had already called different places but none of them had mirrors in the studios, and I found that weird because in England there are always mirrors in the studios. It says a lot about the difference in visual expression between the two countries. But then I visited this studio, and I really liked the vibe, and there is a small mirror. There is a good atmosphere. It’s a small community where people cook together and such.
What gives you a feeling of home?
It definitely has nothing to do with what is around me. It has more to do with my heart and my son. We can be anywhere. As long as I’m with him it feels like home. When I’m out for a gig, I like having lots of clothes and jewelry with me that I spread out to kind of tell myself that this is where I am at this moment. So, my son and my clothes.
Why are your clothes important?
I think it’s really important because it goes hand in hand with the music. When I have to perform a song on stage, I immediately think of what I’ll be wearing and how it should flow. I’m a performance artist as well so if the clothes aren't moving with my body, it is not working for me. How I feel on stage is very depended on what I’m wearing. I usually also have something made for each tour that reflects how I’m feeling at that moment.
Do you feel at home in music?
I do. Regardless of what life throws at me, once I get up on the stage, I forget time and place. It really is the best kind of therapy because you are present in the moment. You don’t have to worry about what will happen in a year or an hour or even a minute, you are just present. On stage I really feel at home.
How did you get into music?
I grew up in different collectives and we were also settlers, so I was surrounded by many different people and was also influenced by different music genres. To start with I listened a lot to 70s hippie music. Then at one point my aunt had a boyfriend who was a hip hop DJ, and he thought I should learn more about classic hip hop to widen my palette. When I came to making my own music, I wanted to mix the two genres and create what I call ‘Hippie Hop’ – a merge of hippie music and hip hop. So, I have created my own genre.
How has growing up in a collective influenced the way you live today?
I have always been conscious about not ending up with the laissez faire attitude. I wanted more structure, and I would say I have succeeded in creating that. I try to at least. But given the nature of my upbringing, I’m also alright with having a job that demands me to travel because I have found a way to create structure in the chaos.
Is there anything in your home you have a special attachment to?
I have a painting. It doesn’t have a frame, but I just think it’s so beautiful. It’s painted by my uncle. I have had it with me in all the places I have lived in both London and now Denmark. But because I have moved so much, I don’t own that many things. I try not to get attached to them because everything can change in an instant.
What is the first thing you do when you get home?
It’s a routine. After I pick my son up from day-care, we come home and listen to children’s music and then we cook together. It’s become important to me to make cooking something we do together.
What or who inspires you most currently?
Me. I think I’m quite cool. There’s a lot of things happening in my life for better and worse, but regardless, I’m still standing here with force. I’m here for my son. I’m on stage. I can be proud of that.
What is the best choice you have made in your career?
Standing by what I believe in. Both in relation to my music genre but also the way I want to perform on stage. I was told – especially when I moved back to Denmark – that I was too eccentric. I should be more normcore. It wasn’t cool to dance and do choreography on stage. It had to be more serious in a way. But I have since discovered that staying true to myself helped me become the artist I am today. Had I tried to be another version of me that was like everyone else, I would simply have been a bad version of something that already existed.
Was it hard?
Sometimes I felt the pressure and was doubting if I did the right thing or if I should just conform and dress more in black and sing the same chorus. I did wonder if I was making it more difficult for myself.
When you had those thoughts, how did you find the strength to still stay true to yourself?
I have always been surrounded by strong women who have done things differently, and that has really inspired me to be unique and do things my way.
Do you have something you live by?
Use what makes you different as your strength. Blend out!
If we had a look inside your closet, what would we find?
A lot of clothes that I wear for my concerts. And now that I’m a mom, you would also find a lot of loungewear and dark colors as my son is quite wild when he eats. My style is more casual at home as opposed to on stage, but I feel fabulous no matter what I’m wearing.
Which items do you always return to?
I love band t-shirts. I have so many different ones from Johnny Cash and The Rolling Stones to Biggie Smalls and Diana Ross.
How does your dream home look?
It has lots of love, laughter, and care. And a garden, if possible. Me, a nice boyfriend, and then of course my son. And plenty of colorful pillows. But most of all it is filled with joy and good vibes.