Remembering Prince

by Frederik Nielsen, Apr 19, 2018 . 4 min read

Remembering Prince

It’s been two years since Prince stopped making music. I could say that he left this world, but with “Kiss” and “Thieves in The Temple” blaring out of my girlfriend’s sound system on a regular basis, Prince is very much still here.

Chances are that Prince will still be around for a very long time. Given that he was so ahead of his time, chances are also that he will continue to be relevant for a very long time. So he made some good songs, big deal. But Prince wasn’t simply an Adele or an Ed Sheeran.

Prince was much more than that. He was one of those special musicians that don’t come around very often. What made him so special? What was he particularly known for? The question is, rather, what he wasn’t known for.

His vocals

Some vocalists have a signature style that just work for them, and staying in their comfort zone does it for their listeners. While Prince definitely had a distinctive voice, he also wasn’t afraid of experimenting with different styles.

Whether it was gospel, rock, screaming or crooning, Prince could do whatever the song called for. His range was incredible, as was his way of applying harmonies, melisma and vibrato in the right places.

Most importantly, he sounded real.

Authenticity is a big part of the vocal performance, and Prince had authenticity in spades. You believed him, whether he was trying to seduce you or compel you to dance.

His production

As with vocal styles, many producers tend to find their signature production style and stick with it. Prince, on the other hand, did a bit more than that. Sure, he could turn two chords into an amazing hit song, but he could also make much more elaborate compositions that rivalled Bohemian Rhapsody.

He could compose smooth seductive ballads, or he could switch it up to funky party songs. He could incorporate in elements from all other music genres flawlessly as and when he needed to. Most importantly, there was always a catchy melody and rhythm to anchor it all.

Prince was comfortable with recording all instruments on his own, and he was not afraid to throw in weird and experimental sounds. What was simple at first listen would turn out to be ever-evolving and complex.

His lyrics

Baby, baby, baby, you so sexy. There, I just wrote a pop song. Whilst you can make a decent career on writing simple pop lyrics like that, it tends to get boring in the long run. If you’re intellectually curious, like Prince was, you want to switch it up a bit.

You want to write about other things, like computers and cars, sinning and apocalypse, death and salvation, the apocalypse and reincarnation. You want to write from perspectives other than your own.

Maybe even from the perspective of the opposite sex. Maybe you want to write a story, or maybe pure nonsense. Prince was a gifted wordsmith, and it shows in his lyrics. He wrote some of the greatest love songs of all time.

His guitar

As mentioned, Prince could play every instrument he needed to play. Drums, bass, keys, synths, you name it. The guitar, however, was where he truly shone. When it came to funk and syncopation, Prince’s guitar-playing was impeccable.

Not only was his playing great, but his choice of weird looking guitar was… well, very Prince-y. All colours, all shapes, all drama. Just like his solos. His shredding has been compared to Eddie Van Halen, which will tell you something about the speed and complexity.

Prince’s guitar solos were an apt reflection of him as a musician in general: flashy, extravagant, flamboyant, dramatic, complex, and awe-inspiring.

His output

Prince was an amazing songwriter, singer, instrumentalist, producer, and performer. Most artists can only hope to achieve legendary status in one of those areas. Prince did in all five.

What is even more impressive is the sheer amount of music he made. There are still Prince songs that haven’t been released. In addition to his own discography, he also wrote songs and produced music for numerous other artists.

That’s how much music Prince had in him. And that’s why Prince is not going to be gone from this world anytime soon.



Get our free Alternate Tunings Guide!
Submit
Get Roadie Tuner

Check out some other similar articles

We’re once more putting the spotlight of some of our favorite artists here on the Roadie blog. Some of them are famous, others are emerging — but all of them are amazing.

Frederik Nielsen
Dec 5, 2019 . 2 min read

Ever wondered what equipment some of the greatest guitarists of all time used?

Then look no further.

Frederik Nielsen
Oct 30, 2019 . 4 min read

Today’s Roadie Spotlight series will introduce Adam Nitti, a world-renown bassist, music teacher, composer, and recording artist.

Randall Nashleanas
Aug 9, 2019 . 3 min read

Roadie Tuner has received much support from musicians all over the world, as they share their personal preferences and opinions on how they use Roadie products.

Frederik Nielsen
Jul 10, 2019 . 2 min read

While it’s true that the music industry can often seem like a young person’s game, there are more than a handful guitarists who made it later in life.

Frederik Nielsen
Jul 4, 2019 . 3 min read

Western and non-western civilizations across the globe contain a plethora of various genres of music. Although these cultures aren’t universally on the same page – music is the universal language.

Randall Nashleanas
Jun 21, 2019 . 5 min read

Ice-T is a legend. Not only can he claim to be the Godfather of Gangsta Rap, but he’s also very convincing as a TV cop.

Frederik Nielsen
Jun 11, 2019 . 3 min read

The beauty of being a musician is that the only musician you can be…is you. Jimi Hendrix left-handedly pioneered blues and rock guitar styles of playing with a head full of lucy.

Randall Nashleanas
Jun 10, 2019 . 3 min read

Happy Father’s Day! Hopefully you’ve got a really cool present (like a Roadie 2) from your kids,

Frederik Nielsen
Jun 9, 2019 . 4 min read

The variety of guitars available goes far beyond acoustic or electric. From its humble beginnings as a lute,

Natalie Hagen
Apr 13, 2019 . 1 min read

We have received a lot of love from Roadie fans over the past years, so we thought we would give some back. We’ll put the

Frederik Nielsen
Mar 11, 2019 . 2 min read

Although women by no means are under-represented in the music industry, female instrumentalists are not quite as common as we’d like them to be –

Frederik Nielsen
Mar 7, 2019 . 4 min read

Grunge is not dead! It’s been almost three decades since the heyday of ‘90s grunge. But, grunge bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam

Alec Plowman
Mar 1, 2019 . 3 min read

One more time then! We’ve already outlined six of the best albums of 2018 in the previous entries to this series. But, the party ain’t over yet!

Alec Plowman
Feb 21, 2019 . 4 min read

This week, “Vicious,” the new record from Halestorm has featured heavily on the Roadie office playlist. If you’ve

Alec Plowman
Aug 10, 2018 . 3 min read

Musicians like Joni Mitchell are a dying breed. Although I’m not big on folk myself, I have a soft spot for Joni.

Frederik Nielsen
Aug 8, 2018 . 3 min read

We’re huge fans of Alter Bridge guitarist Mark Tremonti here at Roadie. Not just because of his prolific use of alternate tunings

Alec Plowman
Jul 24, 2018 . 3 min read

Few groups can claim a half-century of excellence in the field of rock and roll. But The Who is one of them.

Alec Plowman
Jun 26, 2018 . 3 min read

“It’s not about the money, money, money.” But yes it is, Jessie J, yes it is. This week in music has been mostly focused on how little money

Frederik Nielsen
May 31, 2018 . 3 min read

Watching a James Brown performance is an experience. The man had so much funk and soul in him that

Frederik Nielsen
May 29, 2018 . 4 min read
We'll be bringing you recommended tabs and plenty of interesting quotes from guitar legends along the way!