Prince breaks silence
Date: Thursday, March 23 @ 00:00:00 MST
Topic: Black Habits Articles


Prince quietly sits at a corner table during Universal Music Group chairman/CEO Doug Morris’ Feb. 8 post-Grammy Award party.

Universal Republic president Monte Lipman joins him to talk about yesterday’s release, 3121, Prince’s debut for the label under a one album pact. The album features guest appearances by new Prince protege Tamar as well as legendary saxophonist Maceo Parker.

Since Prince’s self-described “slavery” tenure at Warner Bros. Records ended in 1995, he has agreed to only one-album deals and has had similar arrangements between his web-centric NPG Music Club and EMI, Arista and Columbia.

Prince has said he does not understand why all the labels cannot distribute his albums at the same time. One music executive responded, “Well, it sounds like a good idea, but think about it, we all supply the same retailers. They can only stock so many records!”

A Billboard reporter approaches Prince’s table to schedule an interview. Prince smiles and says, “When the time is right, we will talk.” Prince does not like to talk much.

He prefers to make music and perform, and if it is very, very important, he will correspond via e-mail, which is how Billboard received this exclusive.

Q Why is making onealbum deals a good business model for you?

A This was the first agreement that was designed by us without the clause/ claws of the standard recording deal. The best business model is one that is free-flowing, just like the music.

Q What do your fans not know about you?

A There’s a lot that fans don’t know about me. People tend 2 project on2 U whatever they want 2 c.

Q What are your thoughts on the music business with the advent of mobile and digital?

A Music is a sound nrg wave that is best xperienced LIVE. Because eye play music, eye have a different perspective on how it should b delivered. That said, eye (am) not so sure a musician would have come up with the idea 2 sell music in the digital realm.

Q Do you see yourself as an innovator?

A Innovator? It’s not a word eye use, but we do try 2 introduce new ideas or methods 2 business that more resemble the commonsense principles taught in the Bible.

Q What inspires you?

A 2 c someone breaking free from the limitations of the world.

Q Who are you listening to right now?

A Musically, eye am listening 2 Tamar right now. She is a brilliant writer and a kind soul.

REUTERS





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