Wednesday, January 5, 2011

"All the Critics Love You" - Prince and the Media

As I mentioned last week, I was invited to talk about my book on Paisley Radio! I participated in last Sunday's show, and I had a wonderful time. I discussed the four phases of Prince's spiritual development (based on my research and interpretation) and some of my favorite Prince songs with spiritual messages, among other topics. I will embed the audio in a blog entry in the near future. You can listen here for a limited amount of time.

Some of my other plans for the past week were put on hold as I prepared for the start of the winter school quarter. However, I did receive helpful feedback from the director of my graduate program after he read an excerpt from the book. I'm meeting with him tomorrow to talk more about my project.

I intend to get back to contacting agents, creating my source list, requesting interviews and reading Dez Dickerson's book, but I also want to start expanding my research on a particular subject: Prince and the media. Specifically, I would like to scrutinize the media's reaction to Prince's spiritual expression in his music and interviews.

I've found that throughout the early period of Prince's career (1978-1983), the media recognized the artist's consistent mix of the sacred and profane, but didn't take the spiritual side seriously. Then, at the height of Purple Rain's success, the media seemed preoccupied with the lewd components of Prince's work. Because Prince did not open up to the media about his beliefs (or anything else, for that matter), his overtly sexual image became crystallized among the public. Perhaps this explains why today, a more outspoken Prince has trouble convincing people of his spiritual rebirth. Prince is no longer a commercial force in the vein of Purple Rain, and the world, already having acquired a solid image of Prince, is not watching as closely.

I've already written quite a bit about this issue, but there is room for more analysis. I wanted to briefly introduce this topic because I plan to cover it frequently in this blog as I do more research for my book.

Thanks for reading!

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