Is ESSENCE Festival headliner Prince about to surprise us with a new album? His Purple Highness invited Minneapolis Star Tribune journalist Jon Bream to his studio to listen to new tracks this past weekend.
"This is a new Prince album, not to be confused with the one he made with 3rdEyeGirl, Plectrum Electrum which hasn’t been released," wrote Bream of the eventful night.
Bream was one of two reporters invited to Prince's residence, Paisley Park, at 1 a.m. on Saturday to preview some of the purple one's new music.
Prince himself was not in the studio for the intimate preview, but he did call-in to share a few thoughts via speakerphone. “I’ve finally got something that is a cohesive statement,” he said while also stating that he believed in albums not singles. “I don’t need to be on the radio. I’ve been on the radio all my life,” he continued.
The Grammy winner did not mention the album's title or release date but did share that miscommunication with top execs at his label are contributing to delays.
Prince then instructed engineer/producer Joshua Welton, husband of 3rdEyeGirl drummer Hannah Ford Welton, to play a few of his new songs including a song called "This Could Be Us" inspired by a meme of him and Apollonia riding a motorcycle during a scene from the movie Purple Rain.
Words like "electro-funk," "complex electronic discourse," and "joyful ballads with ecstatic vocalizing," were used by Bream to describe Prince's new work.
The night eventually ended with Prince inviting everyone to go to another room to watch a video from his recent Paris performance. But not before making sure no one was hungry. Bream said they all answered no to which Prince replied, “Good,” he said. “Then I don’t have to come cook for you again.”
To say we are jealous would be an understatement. Here's hoping he debuts one of these new tracks while headlong at the Essence Festival next Friday!