Prince on Prince: Interviews and Encounters

Chicago Review. Nov. 2022. 400p. ISBN 9781641607155. pap. $19.99. MUSIC
The interviews in Lizie’s (media studies, Bridgewater State Univ; Prince FAQ: All That’s Left To Know About the Purple Reign) volume are as much about the challenges of interviewing Prince as the interviews themselves. From the very beginning of his legendary career, Prince’s relationship to the music press might best be described as ambivalent. This collection used that aura of mystery to its advantage, saving the richness and depth of Ebony’s retrospective 2016 piece—portions of which had been published prior to Prince’s death—for the very end. That Prince was a musical genius is beyond debate, but what’s most interesting about these interviews—besides the difficulties securing them, the apparent mutability of Prince’s personal history and beliefs, his early embrace and then rejection of online music distribution—is how much of that genius comes through in how he talks about music. His fertility of invention, insistence on and ability to foster the ideal conditions in which to create and collaborate, and determination to do the hard work to follow his creative impulses, are all there on the page. This may encourage casual listeners to seek out some of Prince’s lesser-known and more esoteric work.
VERDICT A collection of intriguing, frustrating, incisive interviews and insights into Prince’s remarkable career.
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