Ten platinum albums. Thirty Top 40 singles. Four decades as one of the most electric artists of our time who, at 55 years young, manages to play two shows a night with his band, 3RDEYEGIRL. Such a reputation not only precedes the mononym master we know as Prince, but also keeps us entranced by his elusive world.
For V Magazine’s latest issue, its cover was draped in purple—surely an ode to one of Time‘s greatest albums ever—while writer Vanessa Grigoriadis attempted to make Prince’s grey world a bit more black and white. In an interview conducted at 2:00 a.m. after one of his shows, Grigoriadis explores his thoughts on time, finding peace, and straddling a thin religious-sensual line. Considering Prince would only allow an interview sans tape recorder and notepad (really) some of his quotes below will include Grigoriais’ own voice for context. Trust us, you’ll need her to keep up with him… if you dare.
On living in the moment:
“This organization is different than most, in the sense that we don’t take directions from the outside world. It’s like a galaxy. The sun is in the center giving of energy, and everything revolves around it….Another thing that’s different about this organization is that time here is slowed down, because we don’t take information from the outside world. We don’t know what day it is and we don’t care. There is no clock.”
On working in a calm environment:
“I directed a couple films and it was taxing in that people were asking me questions about their jobs… I have to be quiet to make what I make, do what I do.”
On reconciling his beliefs in religion and sensuality:
“We are sensual beings, the way God created us, when you take the shame and taboo away from it,” and continues that religion should be thought of like a force, an electro-magnetic one or like gravity, that puts things in motion. Then he says, “I don’t want to talk about this.”
On keeping his private beliefs his own:
“Words are tricky. And plus these days I just talk to the folks in the outside world about music. If you were a student and I was teaching you something we could get into that. We can’t do this before a dance party.”
On the unreleased music in his archives:
We discuss which song in his vault he feels he should have released. “Which one of your children do you like the best?” he says. “Music comes from the same source. It’s all the same thing.”
On his relationship, or lack thereof, with technology:
I ask how tech-averse he really is; does he have an iPhone? “Are you serious?” he says. “Hell, no.”
On performing live:
“This music changes you. These people are not being satisfed elsewhere by musicians, you feel what I’m saying? It’s no disrespect to anyone else, because we’re not checking for them. But we don’t lip synch. We ain’t got time for it. Ain’t no tape up there.”