“In my music,” says Goldie, “is everything I’ve learned, everyone I’ve met, everything I’ve experienced.” And it’s been an incredible trip. The maverick innovator – who rewrote the future of the jungle scene with landmark releases that still sound like they were kidnapped from tomorrow – has a unique story to tell. From children’s homes in the West Midlands through stints in New York and Miami as one of the UK’s most celebrated exponents of graffiti art to rubbing shoulders with a exceptional list of musical collaborators including David Bowie, Noel Gallagher and KRS-One, Goldie has defiantly, definitively, done it his own way.
Released 20 years ago, Goldie's 'Timeless' still stands as not only one of the finest albums in Drum & Bass, but electronic music as a whole. Its symphonic arrangements and sweeping atmospherics made it an ideal candidate for live performance, something which was realised on an epic scale with sell out shows with the Heritage Orchestra at Royal Festival Hall as part of the James Lavelle curated Meltdown Festival and a performance at Wilderness Festival 2016. The show, produced by Chris Wheeler and conducted by Simon Dobson, will see the album rendered with a full orchestra, band, choir, electronics, and feature Vanessa Haynes on lead vocal.
2017 marks the 25th anniversary of Goldie's first releases - 1992's brief collaboration with Ajax Project on the Mach III EP, quickly followed by the edgy coupling of Darkrider and Menace, the extraordinary Killa Muffin and the groundbreaking Terminator. Since then, it's been two-and-a-half decades of relentless innovation, beautiful music and forward-thinking.
And for the kid who lay awake, gazing at the stars, through the window of a children's home, growing up has brought some surprises. Among the many accolades, was the invitation, in 2011, to give a TED talk at London's Kings Place. His recollections of the years he spent in the care system - and his tribute to the life changing impact of a great teacher - made his contribution to the prestigious series powerfully moving and inspiring.
The event also included a unique performance of Astor Piazolla's Oblivion, with Goldie conducting the London Trafalgar Sinfonia. A year later, Goldie was selected as one of the BBC's New Elizabethans 60 people - raging from David Hockney to Roald Dahl, David Bowie and Tim Berners-Lee - who have helped shape British culture since the reign of Elizabeth II. In January 2016, he was awarded the MBE in the Queen's New Year Honours.
It's acceptance, of course, on a grand scale. But at heart, Goldie is still the gatecrasher, amped-up on ideas, buzzing on nothing but love, hope and the certainty that, while his way might not be the easy way, it's definitely the path of a true artist.