Prince Rogers Nelson left this universe behind on April 21, 2016, leaving fans worldwide in mourning. Maybe nowhere in the world has felt this loss as profoundly than Prince's home state of Minnesota. And to The Current, a radio station from Minnesota Public Radio, Prince was more than an artist, he was our friend. That's why, in memory of the Purple One, we’re sharing the many conversations we’ve had with musicians, critics, reporters and more about Prince: his life, his music and his legacy.
Taja Sevelle - Prince's philanthropy and mentorship
Taja Sevelle was one of the first artists on the Paisley Park record label. She recorded the Prince-penned "Wouldn't You Love To Love Me?" (on her self-titled 1987 release); Prince's version was on the recently released Prince 'Originals' album. Sevelle, whose birthday is today, January 7, spoke with The Current's Andrea Swensson about Prince's mentorship and his fervent belief and support in her second career: urban farming.
Dr. Fink: 'When Prince sang live, he was just impeccable'
Matt Fink - aka Dr. Fink - was one of Prince's first keyboard players and is a member of the Revolution. In conversation with Andrea Swensson, Dr. Fink reflects on performing, recording and touring with Prince. 'He was always transforming himself into something different with every record,' Fink says. 'There was always something new and original and exploratory.'
Fred Armisen: 'I could talk about Prince endlessly'
Actor, comedian and musician Fred Armisen ('Saturday Night Live'; 'Portlandia'; 'Late Night with Seth Meyers') discovered Prince shortly after the release of '1999.' In a conversation with The Current's Andrea Swensson, Armisen talks about how he discovered Prince and became an instant fan for life. 'Prince really became my favorite artist,' Armisen says. 'I really soaked up every lyric, every little drumbeat, everything about him.'
LeRoy Bennett: 'Prince was beyond anybody'
Production and lighting designer LeRoy Bennett began working with Prince in 1980 and continued working with him until 1994. 'I was blessed that I started my life and this career with him,' says Bennett, who has gone on to work with such artists as Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande. In conversation with The Current's Andrea Swensson, Bennett reflects on his longtime friendship and working relationship with Prince. 'He pushed you knowing that you were giving all that you could,' Bennett says.
Jellybean Johnson, 'Prince knew we had something special here in Minneapolis'
Drummer and guitarist Jellybean Johnson came up as a musician in North Minneapolis, playing with - and competing with - Prince. Johnson is a founding member of The Time, and in this conversation with The Current's Andrea Swensson, Johnson reflects on Prince's influence in shaping the iconic sound and look of bands like the Time, the Revolution, Vanity 6 and more.
Bobby Z: 'Prince went from a caterpillar to a butterfly in that one purple trench coat'
Bobby Z first met Prince in the mid-'70s when the two were teenagers, and Bobby went on to become drummer for the Revolution. In conversation with Andrea Swensson, Bobby Z offers a philosophical look at Prince's incredible life and career. "Prince was hearing all the music in his head like Beethoven or other classical musicians," Bobby Z says. "He was kind of reborn in all these characters throughout the ages."
This is amazing
What wonderful nuggets - surprising and enjoyable each time. Thank you Minnesota PR. Please keep this up - please keep posting!!
Important & Necessary
Prince is about 10yrs older than me. As a musician, he’s always been like a cool crazy big cousin teaching me lessons all my life. I’ve always wondered who he was beyond the mystique, and this does EXACTLY that!
Thank you 🙏🏾