Just wanted to say a few words about another artist we lost this year. First, of course, there are not words: the whole world rained for him; celebrities around the world paid homage to that eternal song.
But were those really tears of sorrow?
These days, most pop songs are written by more than ten artists, usually the same ten, over a period of months. The writing takes all of ten minutes, but the production - automation - takes time because there are hooks to embellish, insatiable arcs and troughs to time perfectly, so that audiences aren’t disappointed with the roller coaster that is today’s pop tune. They have machines to autocorrect the vocals, standardise the strumming, even write the lyrics. The lyrics! They have actual software to churn out the words!
Prince, on the other hand, wrote and produced the whole of his debut album from his bedroom. He played all the instruments. When Eric Clapton was asked what it felt like to be the best guitarist in the world, he said “how should I know, ask Prince”. Sinead O’Connor and Chaka Khan largely owe their celebrity to songs he penned, ‘Nothing Compares to You’ and ‘I Feel for You’ respectively.
So were we really raining or rather celebrating a one-of-a-kind legend who raised the bar for us all?
I can’t say I’m much like Prince, but his legacy goes a long way in directing up and coming artists on the road to musical autonomy....
Invaluable, and all the more potent now he's gone.