Prince is not my hero
, but he is infinitely my role model
, musically. Prince didn't ever pander to trends and certainly not to what people expected or wanted of him musically. He never compromises his artistry, because he doesn't really see it as art, rather just as something he must do. He isn't pretentious
about it (although many people think that he is... so maybe they're right
.) He pissed loads of people off
because of this fact, not least Warner Brothers
, who, let's face it, ripped him off (they're currently making about $80 million off his back catalogue a year, and he sees practically none of that), which wasn't so bad to him, but then they told him what he could and couldn't release... which was very, very bad to him.
The accusations of pretension go on and intensify when talking of the changing of his name to an unpronouncable symbol
. People also call it a cynical marketing ploy, and others still call it a manifestation of insanity. But I do believe he did it to free himself from many things... and he's clever
, I'm sure... he knew that changing his name to an unpronounceable symbol and forcing people to come up with stupid subsititutes such as "The Artist Formerly Known as Prince" would wreck
his commercial career
, as it pretty much did (to the mainstream, he's but a fond, or laughable memory).
But away from all of that, he's releasing at least one album's worth of new material a year, whether it be via paid downloads, membership of the NPG Music Club
, or in the 'usual way'. He's now working outside the mainstream, by his own rules.
And of course I'm the only person in the world who thinks everything he's ever done musically is excellent
. So I guess I'm biased.
"I record because it's in my blood. If I didn't, I'd die."