At some point in a relationship, most of us reach an emotional cross road. Do the negatives of the situation make you want to leave? Or do you courageously dive in deeper? It’s the push and pull between those polarizing feelings that are thematically explored within the work of Goldilox, who is the latest artist to be signed to Sony. Coupled with the amalgamation of her early artistic influences, a number of relocations, and her diverse forays into the musical world, she has succeeded in crafting a distinctly stark, yet warming sound.
Born in Canada, you would assume that Goldilox - who adopted her childhood nickname of as the moniker she makes music under - spent her early years meandering through the artistic birthing pools of Toronto. Except that’s not the case, because Toronto is miles away from her home. Instead, Goldilox grew up on a small island called Cape Breton. As a blue collar place, it’s one that’s imbued with a strong sense of hard work and family ties rather than the arts. That said, the island has strong roots in music. “If you sing you can really sing and if you play the guitar, you sit around the house for hours jamming with friends”, Goldilox says of her hometown.
“It was my mum’s dream for me to work for the Canada post - to deliver post”, Goldilox says. At first, her family wanted her to have a decent job and to live down the street, so it was a surprise and a shock for them to hear she had creative aspirations.
Enrolled in an all girls’ school and with a mother who was a teacher, she became rebellious from an early age. “I was getting in trouble all the time”, she says, “forget it, I’m not going to school. I’d go out on Friday night and come back on Sunday like - what’s up?”. Yet despite putting her studies to the side, it was during this time that she started to focus in on music. Between constantly getting in trouble and a stressful life at home, the art form of music became Goldilox’s escape. She learned to play the piano, where she would “sit away for hours, just singing”. It “became my best friend”, she explains, alluding to the importance the set of keys had in providing her with a reclusive and reflective sanctuary. “It was my sanctity during the shaping years of my youth”, she says.
Initially uprooting from her remote island hometown to Vancouver, Goldilox then made the move to Los Angeles with the self-professed view that “Hollywood was the place to be”. Her new start would begin in a rocky fashion: friends were left behind, addresses were changed, and familial commitments weren’t met. Then disaster struck. First, the music projects she’d been working on didn’t work out. Then, last December, one of Goldilox’s best friends – who was also a dancer, working in the city – tragically passed away. Losing a friend who had so much potential forced Goldi to be fearless and removed every excuse she ever had.
Over the next few months Goldilox tracked songs on the piano, recorded them in the studio, created music videos, press shots and a website, before approaching a label - an example of her new-found motivation and desire for creative control over her own work. Slowly, these songs started to become representative of Goldilox’s entrepreneurial spirit and creative drive, as she realized a dream she’s held since the age of five, when she decided she wanted to become a singer. “The only thing that’s going to stop you reaching your goals, is if you quit”, she says defiantly.
The result of these tracks is the 5 track EP [SKIN]. Recorded in France after Goldilox (a) wanted a break from the Californian sunshine and its false promises and (b) met who she describes as her “musical soul mate”. Eventually, she packed up her bags and moved to the European city for good. “For the first time in my life I have left no stone unturned. I have given myself completely over to art.”
Keeping in character with her driven attitude towards success, Goldilox has delved into the fashion industry alongside her musical endeavors, modelling for several high profile designers, photographers, and events. Perhaps most notably, she was styled by Diletta Bonaiuti in Milan for Luisviaroma, which went on to be featured in Rolling Stone. Additionally, Goldilox received numerous invites for Milan fashion week 2016, appearing at events such as the Mario Testino Party, Vogue Italia, and Diesel’s Black and Gold party and fashion show, to name but a few. Her upward trajectory in modelling seemingly compliments her rise within music, and illustrates her desire to flourish.
Returning the focus to her upcoming EP, musically speaking, the project itself is rooted in the sound of vulnerability. There are dashes of FKA Twigs deep and obsessive odes to desire, smatterings of some of Bjork’s more heartfelt odes, and sketches of the pop sensibilities of Grimes, all set to a wobble that would be gloriously welcomed in the darkest corners of the club, the crevices of a bed sheet, or flicking somewhere between the roots of a revealing and romantic late-night post- club, post-cigarette conversation. It’s fragile in its ability to unleash the sort of feelings most people keep buried deep inside.
As a whole, Goldilox has imbued the project with a raw sense of pure and true human emotion, daintily slinking toward the listener with a cool sense of clarity. On a track like “100%”, there’s a sense of that aforementioned devotion that’s often present in the nuances of an FKA Twigs track. On the other hand, a track like “Crazy” twists that emotion, with production that’s more reflective of some of the darker moments on Kanye West’s recent release The Life of Pablo, albeit with a stunning vocal rather than rapping. The debut single from the project, “Morning”, sits boldly between the two, with defiant vocal flourishes that allude to the idea of longevity and trust in a relationship. It’s inspired, Goldilox says, by the likes of Santigold and Nelly Furtado, with the latter’s penchant for seductively resplendent waveforms seeping their way into the track’s production. With a delicate interlude, “Morning” fully represents the two poles that Goldilox’s music can reside within.
“If I’m sad, I’m really sad. If I’m angry, I’m really angry. I’m still the rebel I was when I was a kid, There’s no soft in between. My personality is unpolished and consistently vulnerable. I hope people find that honesty refreshing.”
The 5 track EP has been a long time in the works. Arguably, it’s been burning since Goldilox first decided to be a singer, when she was aged 5. Or when she spent hours sat at the piano, singing her heart out, using the expression of the keys in the form of a musical diary or emotional catharsis. It’s been there, travelling with her across Canada, down to the United States, and across the Atlantic Ocean to France. It has been through tragedy, heartbreak, reconciliation, and hope. Ultimately, it is this journey that’s allowed this EP to flourish. This is Goldilox’s first presentation to the world. It is her story, her painting, her assessment of who she is and what she’s seen. This is just us looking in.