The Eyeconomist meets Iris Gold
The Eyeconomist meets Iris Gold
“Really I’m not at all very cool”, there are many peoples it’s easy to believe when they say that but, despite her insistence, Iris Gold isn’t one of them. Talking down the phone in an accent oscillating between the bouncing vowels of a Scandinavian lilt and pronunciation which is unmistakably London her intelligence and thoughtfulness is palpable. Her unusual mix of 70s soul, hip-hop and laid back West Coast rock comes in some part through her eclectic childhood.
“Yeah a lot of people seem to really want to know about the whole upbringing thing, I move with my mum from London over to Copenhagen when I was a little kid. We lived in this kind of hippy commune, a lot of people call it a squat but it’s not really, I don’t want you getting the wrong impression you know, they were big nice houses, it wasn’t nasty or anything. A lot of that time really influenced my music, it was really creative space, like loads of hippies all living together, there were a lot of parties which I guess were a little bit weird as a kid, sometimes you just want your own room and your own quiet and stuff, like a normal life, but it was cool, people were really supportive and stuff… I was the only kid as well which I guess was a bit strange, a bit lonely sometimes but I wouldn’t change it you know, it was a great environment.”
Musically that environment has rubbed off with a distinctly Woodstock orientated inflection to a lot of Gold’s melodies topped with heavy helpings of pure soul. “I guess it’s been called retro, alternative soul which is a bit of a mouthful, it doesn’t seem like it’s really that alternative either, it’s funny because a lot of people seem to say it’s quite alternative or strange but you’ve got Pharrell and Bruno Mars making big hits with similar sounds so it’s not like no one is doing it.”
“I kinda just want to do some uplifting stuff, maybe that’s why it feels a bit more alternative, I feel like a lot of the soul you hear from women is really sad and maybe that’s a little more what people expect but I look at people like Aretha Franklin and Tina Turner and their stuff is really uplifting, like maybe the lyrics are sort of sad but they make you want to uplift yourself. That’s what I want to make, I don’t want to preach to people but I want to be a good example, show people that they can make it and positive by being there without telling people what they can and can’t do and being really preachy.”
It was this thought process which led to her release of the Marsha Hunt Mixtape last year, named after the start of the 70s musical Hair and the inspiration behind the Rolling Stones song, “Brown Sugar” Marsha Hunt’s voice lends the opening sample of the mixtape and provided the inspiration behind the tracks “When I write now is a lot like when I was a kid, I had all of these imaginary friends because there weren’t really any other kids around so I’d go around by myself in these bug buildings we lived in and find a little space and come up with these dream worlds and so I could go somewhere else, go somewhere that I wanted to be and write from that place, that’s still where I write now, from my little world. That’s where a lot of the Marsha Hunt Mixtape came from, in terms of the music I wanted to put myself in that place, what if I was her? In the 70s, in the summer, in Brooklyn, having like the best day, hanging out with my friends, listening to music, just having a good time.” The warmth of thought comes dripping out of the music like a burst fire hydrant, a heady of undulating soul.
With thirty concert dates planned for the next year including Rosklide and Spot Festivals and her new EP – The Interlude, it seems that Iris Gold will be soundtracking the heady days of summer.
Iris is wearing sunglasses from Kaleos Eyehunters. Shop the brand below.