Last week we learned that the legendary Prince will be honored at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards this Spring with the Icon Award and today we learn that Billboard has another honor for the musician … they have put him on the cover and in the pages of the newest issue. Prince, in all his princely glory, is hailed as an American Idol on the cover of Billboard and the accompanying coverstory, we learn a little more about the amazing year ahead the singer has planned for us. Additionally, Prince launched an official website yesterday that features NEW music, including a new song titled Screw Driver. 2013 is here and Prince is ready to take control again.
“I was reluctant to let you come,” says the man sitting in front of me, “until I heard that you’re planning to do a story about ownership.” I have flown out from Los Angeles to the ice fields of Minneapolis (“Well, it’s back to the tundra,” says one of my fellow passengers as we touch down on a crisp 12-degree day) on 24 hours’ notice. I am hoping I will get a chance to discuss the spontaneous touring strategy Prince has raised to an innovative art in the last few years, as well as what plans he may have for his storehouse of unreleased material (his last album was 2010’s 20Ten). And I’m planning to talk with him about his being chosen as Billboard’s 2013 Icon honoree at the Billboard Music Awards in May. But I begin wondering how much of that we’ll get to when I get word from Prince’s manager, Julia Ramadan, that I should spend what little time I have to prepare by watching “The Adjustment Bureau” (more on this later), reading the Twitter feed of an apparent (and mysterious) Prince bootlegger and watching an online video discussion between a Prince superfan and the blogger Dr. Funkenberry. And now I’m worried that the interview I’ve come here for may not happen at all. One thing you learn quickly about Prince: He doesn’t suffer fools or folks who don’t know what they’re talking about. For the next three hours, we ricochet back and forth on a variety of topics. Later, back at my hotel, I’ll be re-creating our conversation from memory. This is how Prince interviews have unfolded for many years. He remains adamant about not allowing reporters to record their conversations with him. (“Some in the past have taken my voice and sold it,” he says. “I can’t remember the incident that triggered it and it’s probably best that I don’t.”) And he still frowns at the idea of a reporter taking notes. (“That would be just like texting.”) … “Let’s talk a little,” Prince says as I follow him into a second-floor conference room, “and see if we vibe first.” Without missing a beat and keeping steady eye contact, he makes a few comments about media ownership and control, then shoots out a question. How would I get the word out about, and then monetize a lyric video for, one of his new songs, “Screwdriver,” that I’d been shown a few minutes earlier? I tell him an online post will generate enough interest to get us to monetization-given the fan clamor for new Prince music, there’s a community ready to pay a nominal price to get their hands on said track. Nothing revolutionary, but Prince pauses and thinks it over. I think I may have passed the audition.
If you are so inclined, you can read the rest of this excerpted Billboard coverstory HERE. As amazing a musician as Prince is, he is deffo one of those celebrities that it’s prolly best never to meet. I love the man’s music, his mystique, pretty much everything about him … but I have a feeling that meeting him would ruin some or all of that love. He is better to be loved from afar, I think. But, that’s a different story for a different time. Right now, we are on the verge of a new era of Prince music and that’s enough to illicit love from any music fan. According to Dr. Funkenberry, who is THE authority on Prince outside of Prince himself, lucky folks got to preview Prince’s new album here in LA last night … included on the album is a new song titled Screwdriver:
This lyric video was first released on a new official Prince site 20pr1nc3.com. For the past few weeks, Prince has strategically been releasing new information and music by way of social media, a new thing for him, and this new website seems to be the central core where everything may come from from here on out. It’s all about to happen, and I couldn’t be more excited! Prince is back and I’m thinking he’s going to be back in a very big way this year. 0