Clifford Joseph Price, MBE (born 19 September 1965), better known by his stage name Goldie, is an English musician, DJ, visual artist and actor from Walsall. He is well known for his innovations in the 1990s UK rave scene, including musical styles such as jungle and drum and bass. He had previously gained exposure for his work as a graffiti artist.
His acting credits include the 1999 James Bond film The World Is Not Enough, Guy Ritchie's Snatch (2000) and the BBC soap opera EastEnders. He has additionally appeared in a number of celebrity reality television shows, including Celebrity Big Brother 2, Strictly Come Dancing, Come Dine with Me and Maestro.
Price is of Jamaican and Scottish heritage. He was put up for adoption and raised in child-care homes and by several foster parents. Price was a member of the breakdance crew Westside, based in the Whitmore Reans and Heath Town areas of Wolverhampton, in the 1980s. He later joined a breakdance crew called the Bboys, and made his name as a graffiti artist in the West Midlands.
His artwork around Birmingham and Wolverhampton was featured heavily in Afrika Bambaataa's documentary Bombing. He took part in the largest ever British graffiti art battle alongside Bristol artist Robert "3D" Del Naja, who later formed Massive Attack. He is mentioned for his graffiti in the book Spraycan Art by Henry Chalfant and James Prigoff, which contains several examples of his art.
He moved to the US owing to graffiti projects, and additionally started selling grills (gold teeth jewellery) in New York and Miami; he continued this business after his return to the UK in 1988. Contrary to popular belief, this isn't where his nickname comes from; it stems from "Goldielocks", an earlier nickname given to him throughout his B-boys days and subsequently shortened when he no longer wore dreadlocks.
By 1991, Price had become fascinated by the British breakbeat music scene when his girlfriend, DJ Kemistry, introduced him to the pioneering jungle and drum and bass producers Dennis "Dego" McFarlane and Mark "Marc Mac" Clair, known as 4hero. He went on to execute a few design and A&R work for 4hero's Reinforced record label.
In 1992, Price made his first album appearance, by contributing a short vocal piece to the track "Rufige" by Icelandic group, Ajax Project. Since then the track has been repeatedly misattributed to Price himself, perhaps because of his subsequent use of "Rufige" as a moniker for his own ambitions.
His releases Killa Muffin b/w Krisp Biscuit and the Dark Rider EP were released under the alias "Rufige Cru". Recently, he has used the alias "Rufige Kru" to release collaborations with additional producers such as Heist. His track "Terminator", released under the name "Metalheadz" in 1992, was a hit in the jungle scene and is noted for pioneering the use of time stretching. In 1993, he released Angel, another 12" on the Synthetic Hardcore Phonography label. 1994 saw him setting up his own record label, Metalheadz.
His first studio album, Timeless, followed in 1995. Timeless entered the UK Albums Chart at number seven. The album fused the breakbeats and basslines common in jungle with orchestral textures and soul vocals by Diane Charlemagne. The album's title track was a 21-minute symphonic piece. "Inner City Life", a track from the album, reached number 39 in the UK Singles Chart. Timeless helped to popularise drum and bass as a form of musical expression. The music critic Simon Reynolds noted that Price's credentials as a musical innovator – and particularly as one of the key driving forces of innovation in the jungle/breakbeat scene – were exceptional. "Goldie revolutionised jungle not once but thrice", he noted in The Wire magazine, continuing, "First there was 'Terminator' (pioneering the use of time stretching), then 'Angel' (fusing Diane Charlemagne's live vocal with David Byrne/Brian Eno samples to prove that hardcore can be more 'conventionally' musical), now there's 'Timeless', a 22-minute hardcore symphony."
Price released his second album, Saturnz Return, in 1998. The album's opening track, "Mother", is an hour-long orchestral drum and bass piece. The album featured appearances by David Bowie, Noel Gallagher and KRS-One.
In 2002, Price said that he had been working for three years on a film called Sine Tempus, described as a coming-of-age storey of a young paintbrush artist. In 2006, he announced the soundtrack as his new album. The album was released via the Metalheadz website in 2008, but the film hasn't been released.
Price is known for his work as the leader of Rufige Kru. The group has no fixed members and has included drum and bass producers such as Technical Itch, Heist, Cujo, Agzilla Da Ice, Danny J, Doc Scott and Rob Playford.
March 2013 saw the release of The Alchemist: The Best of Goldie 1992–2012, featuring prominent tracks from throughout Price's musical career.
Price has appeared in Guy Ritchie's Snatch and several additional films, most notably the James Bond film, The World Is Not Enough. He additionally played gangster Angel Hudson in the British soap opera EastEnders (2001–2002). Price starred in Everybody Loves Sunshine (1999) (aka B.UST.E.D – United States title) with David Bowie.
In the late 1980s, Price appeared on Central Weekend, a Friday evening topical debate show on Central TV, promoting graffiti as an art form. He had a small documentary made about his own art on Central TV's Here and Now programme featuring Pogus Caesar's photographs of New York. He has appeared on various young people's TV shows as part of a breakdance crew, the Bboys from Wolverhampton. In 1995, he appeared on Passengers, and in a Channel 4 documentary about himself in 1998.
Price appeared on the second series of Celebrity Big Brother in 2002. He was the first celebrity to be "evicted". In 2006, he was scheduled to seem in The Games, a UK reality TV show on Channel 4, but throughout training for the water-ski jump event he fractured his femur and was unable to take part in the show. He was replaced by Adam Rickitt. In 2009, he was reported to be suing the producers of the show for damages as a result of the injury.
During August and September 2008, the BBC broadcast Maestro, a reality television show in which eight celebrities, including Price, learned to conduct a concert orchestra. Price placed second, behind Sue Perkins.
On 31 July 2009, the first of a two-part television programme Classic Goldie was broadcast, showing how in the wake of his success in the Maestro programme he learns to write a score for a large orchestra and choir. The resulting composition, commissioned by the BBC and entitled Sine Tempore (Timeless), was performed at two children's Promenade concerts in the Royal Albert Hall on 1 and 2 August 2009, which featured music connected with Charles Darwin and the creation and evolution of the world.
He appeared on Celebrity Mastermind on 27 December 2009 and came fourth behind Paul O'Grady, Gail Emms and Loyd Grossman. On 11 September 2010, he was announced as part of the line-up in Strictly Come Dancing and on 10 October, he became the first celebrity to leave the show.
On 26 March 2011, he appeared in a three-part reality television series, Goldie's Band – By Royal Appointment, in which he led a group of music experts as they conducted a nationwide search for young talented musicians and then selected and intensively coached 12 of them, who collaborated to create a few musical pieces for a performance at Buckingham Palace.
On 24 August 2012, he appeared in the Channel 4 documentary Idris Elba's How Clubbing Changed the World (hosted by Idris Elba) to explain how he invented the revolutionary technique of time stretching by misusing an HF ultra-harmonizer, which is usually used for guitars. He then went on to say that when he crossed this with digital breakbeat, the sound evolved from jungle into drum and bass.
In 2007, Price returned to the art world with an art exhibition, "Love Over Gold", which was held at the Leonard Street Gallery, London. In 2008, he teamed up with Pete Tong to provide much of the artwork for Tong's new Wonderland club night at Eden nightclub in San Antonio, Ibiza.
There was an exhibition of Price's art in Berlin on 13–26 June 2008. In April 2009, his "Kids Are All Riot" exhibition was mounted in Shoreditch, London, and his screenprint "Apocalypse Angel" was released to coincide with this restrospective of his prolific works and originals.
Price has had his art work displayed on the London Underground by the arts company Art Below.
In the early 1990s, Price had a relationship with drum and bass artist Kemistry, who died in a car accident in 1999. He was romantically involved with singer Björk for several years until their break-up in September 1996.
Price married model Sonjia Ashby in 2002, but they divorced in 2005. As of 2003, he had five children.
In 2007, Price began a relationship with Mika Wassenaar, a Canadian. The couple appeared in the 20 June 2009 episode of ITV's All Star Mr and Mrs with Phillip Schofield and Fern Britton. Mika and Price married in 2010.
In July 2010, Price received an honorary doctorate in Social Sciences from Brunel University, Uxbridge. On 3 September 2010, he received an honorary degree of Doctor of Design from the University of Wolverhampton.
On 7 September 2010, Price's 23-year-old son Jamie Price was sentenced to life imprisonment, with a minimum sentence of 21 years, for murder. Jamie was convicted after stabbing a man to death on 24 August 2008. The victim was a member of a rival gang.
Strictly Come Dancing performances
|Week #||Dance/song||Judges' score||Result|
|1||Cha-Cha-Cha / "Tik Tok"||3||6||6||5||20||N/A|
|2||Foxtrot / "The Business of Love"||6||7||7||6||26||Eliminated|
Selected album discography
|Year||Album||Peak chart positions||Certifications|
|1999||Ring of Saturn||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–|
|2007||Malice in Wonderland (as Rufige Kru)||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–|
|2008||Sine Tempus - The Soundtrack||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–|
|2009||Memoirs of an Afterlife (as Rufige Kru)||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–|
Selected singles discography
- "Inner City Life" (as Goldie presents Metalheadz) – FFRR 1994 – UK No. 39
- "Angel" – FFRR 1995 – UK No. 41
- "Jah" / "Deadly Deep Subs" (Remixes) – Razors Edge 1996
- "State of Mind" – FFRR 1996
- "Digital" (featuring KRS-One) – FFRR 1997 – UK No. 13
- "The Shadow" (as Rob & Goldie) – Moving Shadow 1997
- "Everything" – Power Fly 1997
- "Kemistry V.I.P." / "Your Sound" (Remixes) – Razors Edge 1997
- "Moving Shadow 100" – Rhythm Republic 1997
- "Tempertemper" (featuring KRS-One) – FFRR 1998 – UK No. 13
- "Believe" – FFRR 1998 – UK No. 36
- "Angel III" / "Sinister" (The Remixes) – Razors Edge 2004
- "Say You Love Me" – Metalheadz 2005
- "Monkey Boy / Special Request" – Metalheadz 2007
- "Malice in Wonderland" (promo) – Metalheadz 2007
- "Vanilla" – Metalheadz 2007
- "VIP Drumz / Ghost's of My Life (Riders Ghost)" – Metalheadz 2007
- "Envious / Justified" – Metalheadz 2009
- "Freedom" (featuring Natalie Duncan) – Metalheadz 2012