Times Are Changing: Farewell to Prince

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Like many on the 21st of this month, the first thing I thought about when I heard of Princes’ death, was the first time I ever properly listened to any of his music. I was about 14/15 , and it was at a party at my friend’s house. I remember someone spilt a drink on the iPod, so we were left with her mum’s CD collection. Another friend was currently obsessed with a guy who was obsessed with Prince; ergo ‘The Ultimate Collection’ became our soundtrack for the night. The second, ‘I Wanna Be Your Lover’ came streaming from the speakers, that pure elation and joy from the disco classic, electrified us, leaving us yearning for more.

An artist present in the industry for over four decades, the devastating loss of one of our last, great legends was shocking and unexpected. Forty albums later and still going strong, Prince was still melting R&B, Rock, Funk and Soul into one with great effect. He was still releasing music that defied the genres, and mesmerised all who heard or saw his virile individuality. Where many artists have taken the path of popularity over artistic integrity and creativity, Prince always maintained and chose the latter, transcending all artistic conventions and subverting the true meaning of a musician. His mastery over instrument, production, song writing, dancing and of course singing made him a true icon, forming his own platform which many were unable to touch.

Prince in 1985 Courtesy of Michael Ochs Archive

Prince in 1985 Courtesy of Michael Ochs Archive

As the various tributes over the past week have stated, Prince was able to encapsulate with his music alone. He never relied on media stunts or provocation for the sake of, his lyrics and skills shone through. One of the last few to be utterly devoted to his music, rather than the celebrity circus he forever turned his back on. His ingenuity as an entertainer and ‘popstar’ were rivalled by none. To now live in a world where Michael, Whitney, Bowie and now Prince no longer exist is insane. To think future generations will never be afforded the luxury of being a part of these exceptional beings and everything they attributed to culture is a dismal thought.

After the weekend that brought us Beyoncé’s new album ‘Lemonade’, just listening and watching the visuals, music and contexts, that she presents, is evidence that Prince’s fingerprint will be eternally marked upon the landscape of Music. His breadth and talent made him otherworldly, able to captivate any audience of any age, race, gender or creed. Many were able to draw great comfort from him, and identified greatly with his eccentricities and uniqueness. Prince will live forever through his music and its ability to still be capable of reaching across the continents and decades. His genius is inescapable and will never be forgotten. One of the few artists who was a gift, and a heart breaking loss for all his fans. Farewell to a diamond, who truly did give us the world.

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