since the mid 80s, prince has been an inspiration for many artists, across all genres. his signature sound is uniquely prince and hard to define – for those not lucky enough to work with him or be granted their own piece of purple magic, there was considerable effort behind emulating those tight, suggestive vocals, flirty lyrics, electric production and syncopated beats.
‘sounds a bit like prince’ is lazy music journalism these days but his influence has shone through, and to be awarded such a accolade is every new artists’ marketing department dream, with stevie wonder a close second.
check out some rare prince and some even rarer prince and some artists he actually wanted to share his style with.
here are some songs that make me think of prince when i hear them:
black buddafly – sexyback
nasty delivery and those beats. the girls’ answer track definitely outsasses justin timberlake and their musical upbringing has clearly taken in some of prince’s sleazier joints.
britney spears – i’m a slave for you
the neptunes were most definitely channelling lovesexy when they produced this track for britney. christina aguilera may have stronger vocals but could never pull off something like this. ‘dirty’ sounds horribly dated only five years later.
chromeo – needy girl
dirty mind-era funk updated for the 00s. the theme is vintage prince – obsession.
ciara and r.kelly – promise
i was sceptical when i heard the new ciara track sounded like prince. but she does appeared to have transcended her crunk beginnings quite successfully.
egyptian lover – freakaholic
if prince had made a track for a high school prom scene in a john hughes movie…i could see molly ringwald, anthony michael hall and co dancing to this – badly. could also have worked as the soundtrack to the african anteater ritual in can’t buy me love.
entouch – all nite
slinky graffiti bridge era prince ripoff. understated but more soul and less mechanical than the new jack sound that prevailed at the time.
michael jackson – in the closet
so you’re the king of pop, what more could you want? to be the prince, clearly. wacko shouldn’t attempt to be sexy cos we’ve also seen how that turns out. even certified shortarse prince would have looked more natural alongside naomi campbell in that video.
ready for the world – oh sheila
one of the first acts to jack prince’s sound, this lot had clearly done their purple homework. at the time their debut, bar this track, was dismissed as ‘prince-lite’ which will do nicely for me until we get some more unreleased 80s prince material from the vaults.
robin thicke – cherry blue skies
darling nikki meets the greatest song title prince never used for the parade soundtrack. robin sound a bit like camille too.
rythm syndicate – p.a.s.s.i.o.n
what prince might have sounded like if he had been signed to sony in the late 80s. so, a hell of a lot better than most of their artists.
sterling simms – nasty girl
this would have slotted effortlessly into late 70s disco influenced prince sets.
unklejam - love ya
i’m not sure if any of unklejam are really old enough to have been influenced by prince unless their parents have been playing prince to them since a young age. which is commendable but not quite authentic. we don’t want a situation in ten years time where every new band sounds like watered down prince a la all guitar bands since 1994 and the rolling stones…