The Gaudy One (Goldie) debated

Posted: July 5, 2010 in 2 the X-treme, Celebrity profile, Videos

The Golden One

A friend once recounted to me a concert audience (of which was a part) reaction’s to songstress, Goldie. “When she first came on stage, we were like who is this one? Her clothes, her dancers… Then when she started singing people were booing her, telling her to get off the stage.”

But the artiste refused, insisting instead on doing her thing. She was set to perform three songs and after the first one, the crowd had had enough. “Go! Thank you!” they called out but Goldie, the performer was not listening. In her husky voice she kept urging her audience to listen to her and endure her performance, “You will love this one,” she said after the first two songs determined to drown out their displeasure and gain their appreciation. Eventually, after the third song, it was with relief that the concert attendees watched her cede the stage to next performer.

” Haba! Thank you, e don do! ” my friend reiterated her sentiments at the concert and almost with the same passion as then.

Like most performers, Goldie is many things to many people. Some love her and some hate her- absolutely. Whether she has real singing talent is debatable but her entire entertainment style especially fashion-wise gets a lot of tongues wagging and most times in displeasure.

Golden lashes.

Her over-the-top (literally!) costumes, her overly long lashes, her cruel pout… all serve as fodder for hate and rather than promote have served to undermine her credibility as a “professional” artiste.

Performance artistes are not rare in the music industry. The greatest of them all is Michael Jackson who is known not only for his beautiful voice and fantastic dance moves but also his weird antics off-stage and outside the studio earning him the nickname “Wacko Jacko”. Madonna is also known for going beyond the music; Fela, Christina Aguilera, Lady Gaga and to a lesser extent Rhianna and Kanye West.

These are singers who have defined themselves and chosen to relate to their audience not through their music alone but also their sense of style and lifestyle.

Lady Gaga is the most prominent of them all these days. Her costumes get the paparazzi clicking away and even mainstream media prattling in “other news”. Some say she is “redefining”  entertainment.

But before there was Lady Gaga, at least in the Nigerian consciousness, there was Goldie. In her personal style, Goldie has chosen to go all Western on her Nigerian audience. Her bustier recall Madonna, her fishnet stockings and recently, her golden get-up in her latest video (the one for her song “You Know It” featuring eLDee) Beyonce. In a self-proclaimed conservative society like ours this does not seem to be working well on her behalf and have earned her more criticism than praise.

When Christina Aguilera first appeared in her chaps, lacy brief and bikin top outfit, the public was first baffled then disappointed. That Aguilera has talent is undeniable. She has often been touted as the best singing voice of her generation but here she was resorting to a gimmick that was best left for people with no real talent whatsoever (like Britney Spears?). Rare, then, was the artiste especially female who would display “another side of her” in order to sell her records. You either had it or you didn’t.

Unfortunately, this gimmick is now being embraced by everyone, both the talented and not-so-talented. In spite of this, that self-promotion is still associated with the no-real-talent-to-talk-about is seen in debates on Gaga’s ability to really carry a tune and Rhianna’s nasal alto.

The debate is also on for Goldie. There are some who appreciate her for her videos, an unfortuante instrument which has seen the breaking of real talents and the making of those who really should have nothing to do with a microphone. These days of music channels on TV and cable have seen a song’s commercialization being  dependent on how good the video is. And to the chagrin of Goldie’s critics, this is were the gaudy one excels.

She has been called the “richest female artiste” in the industry and a lot said of her ability to sponsor herself. “Goldie will spend her money on anything,” I once heard someone say.

Album sales for even the best musicians in Nigeria is questionable and with a debated artiste like Goldie, the question is even more pronounced. “Who buys a Goldie album or even listen to her songs?”

But love her or hate her, this lady is determined to remain center-stage. And if she has the rumoured money to do so then too-bad for those who hate her. Because poor album sales or not her “wealth” gives her an advantage over those who poorly-accepted artistes with their passion for entertainment who are not financially-able to make it beyond one song.

Judging from all this, it is clear that music- rather entertainment- is something Goldie loves and is determined to excel at. She has even relaunched herself with a more toned-down but no less gaudy image. More importantly, she has just signed onto Kennis Music so fans and haters alike should expect more albums. Her latest one is set for release in September. (Read Goldie’s X2 interview)

Still, it remains to see how long her performance will last before she gets the appreciation she craves and needs to remain relevant in her chosen profession. Will she earn this by an insistence to remain on stage despite the boos or will the audience clamour finally get to her, forcing her to take a reluctant bow? This is a questiononly the future  can answer.

Onyinye Muomah

  1. Anthony Ashibogu says:

    from ur critic she reminds me of duchess maria (late 80’s musician), she had ‘something’ with skid ikemefuna way back then