Tributes to Prince continue to pour out in an immense wave of remembrance and celebration. Fellow artists across the globe have paid their respects to the fallen artist through song, including Rihanna to Bruce Springsteen. Now, Questlove shares a poignant essay on The Purple One.
In the passage published on Rolling Stone, The Roots member recalled the first time he heard Prince’s music after snagging a copy of 1999, to the span of his influence across all genres while creating his very own sound of music.
“Prince was singular in his music. He was his own genre. That same singularity extended to everything. He went the other way in life, too,” he writes. “As he got older, the way he managed his career showed off that contrary streak. It came to the forefront in the way he mastered his records, in the way he handled reissues, in the way he used (or didn’t use) the Internet and online streaming services. In the summer of 2014, his old band, the Revolution, reunited at First Avenue in Minneapolis. They were all set up for him to join in and play. He drove right past. Prince was a great drummer, and he was always marching to his own beat.”
Questlove also went into detail about how he mimicked Prince in terms of the way he carried himself in the music industry and in real life.
“Prince was in my ears and he was in my head. Starting then, I patterned everything in my life after Prince. I had older half-brothers, but Prince — unknown to me then, but not unseen or unheard, thanks to magazines, TV, radio, and my secret stash — was a guide to me in every way,” he said. “I studied his fashion, I studied his affect. I studied his taste in women — carefully. And he began to mentor me in musical matters, too. I wouldn’t have started listening to Joni Mitchell without him. And that led me to Jaco Pastorius, who led me to Wayne Shorter, who led me to Miles Davis. I had a simple rule: if Prince listened to it, I listened to it.”
Read the full passage here.