Music pioneer, contemporary/graffiti artist, drum & bass icon, DJ, actor and producer.
Goldie is a total original, a multi talented shape shifter, who’s sold more than 3 million records worldwide.
Against all odds, and despite a traumatic childhood, he succeeded in unleashing his boundless creativity from a very young age. He transformed an underground British sound into a mainstream international movement with the evolution of drum & bass, collaborating along the way with major pop icons.
In the early eighties, Goldie earned his name as a graffiti artist in the West Midlands with his artwork appearing in Dick Fontaine’s 1985 feature film documentary ‘Bombin’ (broadcast on Channel 4 in the UK). He took part in the largest British graffiti art battle alongside Bristol artist 3D, who later went on to form Massive Attack. Goldie and his work are featured in the book ‘Spraycan Art’ by Henry Chalfant & James Prigoff.
Moving to the US in 1986 Goldie was immersed in the subway art and Hip Hop culture of New York. He worked on a small stall selling ‘grills’; the gold teeth that have become synonymous with the man today.
After 5 years Goldie returned to the UK to live in London. It was here that he discovered ‘Rage’ one of the biggest club nights in London. Seeing Fabio and Grooverider playing there transformed things for Goldie, with the genesis of a game changing musical career. He got the taste of ‘Jungle’ and its energy and wanted more. True to form he put himself in the driving seat and created the incredible and hauntingly dark tune, ‘Terminator’ in 1992.
‘Terminator’ was the originative piece of work associated with Goldie’s invention of time stretching; this was the discovery of a unique sound made when running digital break beats through an HF Harmonizer usually used for guitars. The effect extends the beat without changing the pitch.
In 1994 as Goldie oversaw the birth and growth of his drum & bass label Metalheadz, he found time to craft a debut album, which sold 250,000 copies. This epic creation, containing a 21 minute symphonic track is just as it is named; ‘Timeless’.
It was around this time that the far-famed ‘Metalheadz Sunday Sessions’ club night was launched, which achieved legendary status at London’s Blue Note club. The Metalheadz night was a party that will go down in history as one of drum & bass’ most important, it is frequently cited by the genre’s luminaries in spreading the sound worldwide.
Having conquered the spheres of art and music, and become a celebrity in the process, Goldie moved outward on all fronts, owning a successful club, record label and expanding into fashion, TV and acting.
Goldie’s first film role was in David Bowie’s gritty northern gangland flick ‘Everybody Loves the Sunshine’. This led to a part in Guy Ritchie’s largely successful and critically acclaimed ‘Snatch’ and then a villainous role in the James Bond classic ‘The World is Not Enough’. These three films alone saw Goldie working alongside Brad Pitt, Robert Carlyle, Robbie Coltrane, Denise Richards and Vinnie Jones to name but a few.
Following Goldie’s acting success on the big screen he landed a role on the small screen as ‘Angel’ in the ever popular Eastenders, adding yet another string to his bow.
Always changing and evolving 2008 saw Goldie step away from acting to appear in the highly successful BBC ‘Maestro’ programme where he was runner up with the audience vote and winner with the judge’s panel. As a result he was asked to score a piece of music for ‘The Proms’ producing the magnificent ‘Sine Tempore’.
A two-part BBC documentary called ‘Classic Goldie’ followed; this portrayed his amazing talent, not only for writing and scoring music for an orchestra and choir, but for his art.
In 2009 Goldie released ‘Sine Tempus’, the soundtrack to his original screen play that is currently in the making which Goldie will be directing himself, and in 2010 an album called ‘Memoirs of an Afterlife’.
Now Goldie had truly achieved celebrity status; recognised worldwide and a household name. In 2009 he put this fame to good use to raise awareness of the vital role of social work in our society, backing a successful national TV campaign called ‘Give Them a Voice’ to recruit social workers, which won him huge public support.
Goldie’s contributions to the nation continued with his participation in ‘By Royal Appointment’ in 2011 where he explored the transformative power of music in young lives today. He described it as one of the most inspiring projects he has ever been involved with. The project, which was personally endorsed by HRH Prince Harry, took young people of Britain who had been faced with huge challenges in their lives and not only gave them the opportunity they deserved but a new found confidence and vision for the future.
During this time Goldie’s art also evolved and matured as did he. Following his successful 2007 London solo show ‘Love Over Gold’, 2009 saw Goldie bring us ‘The Kids Are All a Riot’, a stunning installation of art in the duplex Maverick Showroom. His 2010 show the ‘Lock Up’ was held in a secret London location and attracted a huge celebrity crowd including Ian Brown, Tracey Emin, Danny Cipriani and Gemma Arterton.
In a special collaboration with Adidas, Goldie created the ‘Athleticizm’ collection, consisting of fourteen paintings of Britain’s then leading Olympic hopefuls to celebrate the games. The artwork attracted both BBC and Sky News exposure in this important year. 2012 also saw a dedicational piece for the Diamond Jubilee with an art tribute to HM the Queen; ‘Single Petal of a Rose’ has attracted interest and praise from HRH Prince Harry.
This year also saw Goldie treading the boards again as he participated in ‘Wings of Desire’; the breathtaking finale of the International Dance Festival Birmingham (IDFB) 2012, which received 4-star reviews. Goldie played a conduit role in the performance, which is set in pre-unification Berlin and tells the powerful story of the then divided city.
Goldie has gained recognition for his prolific work academically with the awards of honorary degrees in the last seven years for the arts and music, Professor at Thames Valley University (London), Doctor of Social Sciences at Brunel University (London) and Doctor of Design and Art at Wolverhampton University.
Perhaps one of the greatest tributes to Goldie’s work is that he was recently voted by the public into the Top 60 of the ‘New Elizabethans’; the most influential leading figures in HM Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, alongside luminaries and public faces that are a major part of history including David Attenborough, Margaret Thatcher and Sir Edmund Hillary.
2013 continued to be another notable year for Goldie; a year in which he celebrated 20 years as a recording artist. To mark this impressive milestone, his label Metalheadz and Warner Brothers came together to release Goldie’s first ever career-spanning retrospective entitled ‘The Alchemist: The Best Of Goldie 1992-2012’. Released March 2013, on triple-disc CD and digital download, this definitive collection reads like an almanac to the history and development of drum & bass.
Goldie also exhibited in November of 2013 a stunning collection of new works ‘Lostribes’ in Mayfair, London. In an awe-inspiring display of paintings on sustainable wood, Lostribes deftly combines visually seductive imagery with probing explorations of the fundamental human connection and artistic expression of the ancient tribes of Africa, Asia and America.
These beautiful, earnest creations take us back to Goldie’s early artistic expression; stark, unspoken feelings that resonate deep within yet impossible to verbalise. Each work is created with meraki – the purest of emotions – telling a story and arousing feelings as old as the journey of our souls.
2014 has already seen Goldie make his theatre debut in the Roy Williams play ‘Kingston 14’, the play ran for four weeks at the Theatre Royal in London and received formidable reviews from the critics.
This continues to be an exciting year for Goldie with the nascence of ‘Timeless II (Sine Tempore)’. He and the Heritage Orchestra expanded and reworked tracks from his seminal album ‘Timeless’ for full orchestra, band, choir, electronics and guest vocalists at the Meltdown Festival at The Royal Festival Hall in June of this year. The sell out show was such a success with an awesome response James Lavelle quoted “This has been the best crowd response to any Meltdown Festival act I have ever seen”.
Following on from this initial concert and its huge impact there are plans for a tour next summer 2015 including confirmed shows at The Royal Festival Hall in July.
Goldie has also recently mixed the next Ministry of Sound’s ‘Masterpiece’ series, which saw the artist curate a three-disc journey through his own influences and personal favourites.
Constantly evolving and reinventing himself Goldie’s life weaves many tales of urban blight and spiritual faith. It is with art though, be it through the medium of paint, music or acting Goldie has broken the chains of limitations. He has learnt that the dark and difficult are as much needed as the light and easy, by allowing all of life’s colours to penetrate him he is more integrated and whole.
Goldie is self creativity, new life, mystical union; otherwise known as alchemy.