As effortless as it sounds, Iris Gold’s synthesis of sunshine pop and block party hip hop can’t be pulled off by just anyone. The wide afro’d wordsmith is something special, with a killer back story and an arsenal of tunes set to rain down upon the world this year. Born in the UK, Iris was whisked across the North Sea and grew up living a nomadic existence in Copenhagen, squatting for intervals above the Folkteatret (‘People’s theatre’) and in the fristaden (‘free town’) of Christiania. Hearing the likes of Fugees, Wu Tang Clan and Beastie Boys play in the legendarily liberal, anything-goes environment has left its impression on the artist. Often the only child at gatherings of space cadets, nudists and free-thinkers, she developed the charisma and storytelling prowess necessary to command attention.
Iris moved to London – “I wanted to spread my wingflowers,” she explains with a typically poetic flourish. Her journey from hippy roots to the glass and concrete of the city can be heard in the dually free-minded and sharply focused nature of her work: shiny bright hip hop and block party dance breaks compressed into 3 minute pop blasts. Iris settled in Hackney Wick and began writing songs in which she fused the minimal, generative quality of instrumental loops with her background in poetry and storytellling. These found their way to wunderkind producer MNEK and songwriter Ali Tennant (Jessie J, Labrinth, Wretch 32) “I wanted to revive – without ripping off – the ’70s and ‘60s psych stuff I was into: Jefferson Airplane, The Doors, you know, Mommas and the Poppas.” These glossy Californian influences are deepened and enriched by her love of classic hip hop. Not wanting her to grow up ignorant of the classics, her Mum’s friends got her dosed up on Pete Rock, Beastie Boys, De La Soul and every corner of the genre’s late ‘80s zenith. On ‘Goldmine,’ other elements of her style are also on display: warm analog-sounding drums, raspy trip-hop textures, sun-blushed vocals and an utterly infectious melody, introduced with a carefree whistle at the outset.
Iris Gold – Goldmine
2015 has Iris’ name all over it. with live shows in London, New York and LA’s School Night in May. The Taste Maker EP drops in Spring, setting up a Summer in which she will support Taylor Swift at Hyde Park and ready her debut LP for a fall release. An announcement about that and another massive outdoor London date are coming shortly. Open your window, screw down your speakers and don’t touch that dial!
Iris Gold – Goldmine Lyrics: