With Jamaican and Indian roots, born in the UK, relocated to Denmark and raised in hippie communes, Iris Gold has a rich story to tell. We talked with her about passion, music and her outlook on life.
The lovely and talented Iris Gold is a hip hop, retro pop, R&B, future soul phenomenon whose background is as diverse and compelling as the music she creates. Iris was born in the UK before moving to Denmark at a young age, spending much of her emerging adulthood in between esoteric locations. From squatting above the Folkteatret (people’s theater) in Copenhagen to convivial life in the free-spirited town of Christiania, her upbringing was far from conventional.
Iris Gold’s eclectic background shines through her music, making deliciously joyful and unique appearances throughout her work. Her latest release, a pumped-up pop song called “Roll it Out” is no exception. The track feels like a parade of sunshine, surrounded by homies and good vibes abound. Her unique signature of retro funk pop is clearly still going strong and the inspiration behind it will make you love her even more. We had a chat about her creative background, the root of her passions and just how excited she is for Roskilde Festival.
When did you first become involved in making your own music?
When I was a little girl, I started writing poetry. In the hippie commune I had a lot of mammas and pappas who were willing to listen to my poems, which over time developed into rhymes and raps. Gradually I found out that I had a talent for expressing myself in songs.
Who did you grow up listening to as a little girl? Any strong female influences in there?
When I grew up I was always listening to 60 and 70’s artists like Jefferson Airplane and The Doors. Later I discovered classic hip hop artists such as Salt n Pepper, Public Enemy, and Beastie Boys.
I have always been very inspired by strong female artists like Grace Jones, Lauren Hill and Erykah Badu. I went to see Badu last summer—it was an a amazing experience. Standing in the front row, watching her completely on top of her queendom with a dope live band that has been with her throughout her career. I would love to have the same band with me in that way. The memories they share and experiences is something that you really feel when you go to an Erykah Badu concert.
“Roll It Out” is a beautiful song about living your life with an open spirit. Are you in that place now, or is it more something to aspire to?
“Roll It Out” was written in the days after I broke up with my ex-boyfriend. The song is about being free, taking control of your own life and living every day to the fullest. Some days I feel like that and on others I don’t, but regardless you just gotta roll with it. That’s why the track is called “Roll It Out”.
What was your process like with this track? Was it as effortless as the vibe of the song itself?
The session was very much fueled by coffee and my homeboy Gill’s amazing loving energy! So the song came out with a hype, and a quickness like Usain Bolt running through the blocks.
Which collabs stand out to you though the years?
Aerosmith and Run Dmc. True Pioneers of bringing 2 different genres together. More of that, yes please!
You’ve said you wanted to achieve a ” love revolution vibe” with this track. What does that mean to you?
I come from quite a poor upbringing. Things weren’t always easy, but I decided very early on that I was gonna be a go-getter. I have always tried to turn negative situations into positive. That’s my personal love revolution. And I really want to spread love with every song I do. Regardless of whether it’s a happy or sad song, there is always love. We are all one, Bob Marley said it best: one love.
There is no question that music can create a movement. Again, shout-out to the man with a plan, the “One Love Concert” held by Bob Marley is a testament to music bringing people together. This concert was held during a political crisis in Jamaica between opposing parties, Jamaican Labour Party and the People’s National Party. During Bob Marley & The Wailers’ performance of “Jammin'”, he made the two political rivals join hands. It was beautiful and I remember crying when I saw it in his documentary.
Any words of encouragement to girls out there?
Roll with it! Hard times and good times. Learn from the ocean and flow, beautiful and strong. Believe in yourself, and remember that what makes you different is what makes you special.
Are you excited for Roskilde?? 🙂
I’m super excited, its a dream come true. I cant wait to share all the new songs I have been preparing with my band, for all the beautiful people attending Roskilde Festival. And to be on the same bill as Anderson .Paak, is fantastic! I love the guy. He is a true inspiration for me. I went to a talk he held in London last year and I was truly moved by his words and encouragement.
Make sure you catch Iris Gold on Tuesday July 3rd at 23:00 at the Countdown stage!