His purple majesty is in a whole new atmosphere and it shows. All of the different shows, tours, the new Warner Brothers deal, and the impressive array of talent around him is a testament to a legend who FINALLY owns his masters. With a career that has spanned over 35 years, it is amazing to see and hear Prince doing what he’s doing now. (Yahoo is replaying the feed for 24hrs here)

A pop and R&B infused side of Prince is in the new Art Official Age album.
A pop and R&B infused side of Prince is in the new Art Official Age album.

Yesterday, with much fanfare, Prince and his new 3 piece all girl rock band, (guitarist Donna Grantis, drummer Hanna Ford, and bassist Ida Nielsen) 3rd Eye Girl have released 2 albums named Art Official Age and PlectrumElectrum. To celebrate the release, Prince brought us all within the hallowed walls of Paisley Park Studios. Hosted by a trusted Paisley beauty named Maya (the photographer who did the Art Official Age cover) we took a small tour thru the studios and stages of Paisley Park where all the magic is made! Personally, as a longstanding fan, I imagined Paisley Park to be a glittering palace of purple rooms where physical notes fell from the rooftop above like snow. After hearing all of the rumors of how the ‘aura’ of Paisley Park was much like the fanfare of Studio 54 back in the days of disco, I totally expected to see random celebrities walking around or even performing impromptu songs on tables and couches all over the first music making floor. While it wasn’t anywhere close to what my impractical imagination had built it up to be, the way those whom Maya spoke to described it to be was. At one point, Maya strolled into a studio where Art Official Age producer Joshua Welton was playing tracks from the album. One song in particular had Kendrick Lamar spitting bars over a new track. Another snippet had Rita Ora sounding much different than she does on her typical pop’y songs. Instead, the song had a bass ridden grit and edge to it that was quite good actually. Then Josh unleashed a silky smooth slow jam that is uncertain whether or not it will be released anytime soon! In between, Josh described how he stumbled upon the opportunity to produce Prince’s new album after his wife, Hanna of 3rdEyeGirl, was chosen to become his drummer ‘on tour’. Simply through being around, talking, chatting, and vybing, Josh got the opportunity to play and produce tracks and the rest is history. Even the Rita Ora track was fully one of his creation.

3rdEyeGirl's debut album does feature Prince on most tracks but put's their talents and voices front and center also.
3rdEyeGirl’s debut album does feature Prince on most tracks but put’s their talents and voices front and center also.

As the tour rolled on, Maya did a quick interview with the members of 3rdEyeGirl along with some fans which detailed the whole creation process. A common theme of the night it seemed, the ladies spoke of how unpredictable and creatively fluid Paisley Park was thanks to the environment that Prince devised and encouraged. More interestingly though was how Prince ‘stumbled’ across not only them individually but also Liv Warfield who Maya encountered later on during the tour. A singer for Prince’s New Power Generation band and a solo artist, Liv was also discovered via YouTube after the world hearing moons ago that Prince was a techno-phobe and hates the internet. After all the grandstanding, it was cool to see how open to change he’s become and how it has evolved his creative process. Oddly enough, the best portion of the night followed Maya sitting down to chat with Liv as a portion of the NPG took one of many stages in Paisley Park it seemed to unleash a quick jazz set. Prince has long been a multi-genre leaping artist who could easily jump from rock to funk to R&B to jazz with the flick of a string or keyboard. The 4 piece crew provided a set that could only make people wonder why Prince hasn’t unleashed MULTIPLE albums with these guys yet? Of course, that is par for the course for Purple Yoda as it is common knowledge that he is sitting on more recordings that he probably knows what to do with. 3rd Eye Girl made that clear as they described how they did recordings for this album and probably for a great deal more. They seemed to understand that Prince’s attention to making a cohesive and well thought out album was more important than simply unleashing everything to the masses once it was done.


After the undeniably smooth eargasm, Maya strolled over to the ‘main stage’ which was set up for Prince and 3rdEyeGirl to perform (for who knows how long since the live feed was cut only about 4 songs into the set). There Prince was joined by Liv Warfield and eventually Kendrick Lamar in a performance of songs from the albums. Oddly enough, many Prince fans (despite the celebration of the release of two albums) were left panting for more!

P and the girls