Sunday, April 24, 2016

Remembering Prince: The Genius of Rock, Pop, Soul, and everything in between

It took me a couple of days to process the passing of Prince. He is my favorite musician of all-time. I was too shocked by the news, that I couldn't really say anything about it till now. Ever since I listened to the greatest hits collection issued in `93 when I was 15 years old, I have been a rabid fan, buying anything he put out (which led to some truly adventurous attempts to buy such rarities as Crystal Ball and New Power Generation). His music, the strangeness of it, the uniqueness of its sound, the magnificence of the guitar playing, the funkiness of the drum programming, was and always will be unlike anything else I've ever heard. I won't even mention his prowess as a live performer, or his legendary status as the greatest guitar player of all-time.

To me, Prince was the sound of my youth, the soundtrack to my writing, the musician who influenced me the most as a soundtrack composer. His world - the showy outfits, the obsession with the color purple, the overt spirituality, the moodiness of it all - always spoke to me, inspired me, touched me.

I always imagined that Prince would continue making music late into his seventies. I never thought he would die so soon. But an artist as talented as he was never really dies. I have his music, I have his concerts, and I have the memories of me as a kid listening to "1999" and "319" and "When Doves Cry" in my bedroom, imagining myself being as cool as he was, playing music as good as he did.

To this day, I consider Sign `O` Times (1987) one of the greatest albums ever. I think I am going to listen to that right now.

Rest in Peace and Love and Joy, Prince. We hear you.

Text © Ahmed Khalifa. 2016.

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