Our interview reinforced a few things: The young people in your life are always paying attention to your interests; Prince still inspires discussions about gender and sexuality; and his talent is undeniable.
As part of our chat, I showed my niece three Prince videos. I wanted to capture different periods of his career and pick clips that would keep her attention. And I chose a personal favorite of mine from the '90s era. I recorded her immediate reactions.
At the end of the post, you'll see a quick discussion with my sister—the only person on the planet who likes the movie Graffiti Bridge as much as I do.
Interview with My Niece
What do you know about Prince?
His song "Purple Rain" was a big hit in America and he would always wear high-heeled boots, eyeliner, mascara and always have a dot on his face, right on his cheekbone—I think it was a mole or maybe he placed it there. And he would always wear nice suits. And I didn’t understand why he would wear (what he wore). At first I thought he was gay. ... He played a lot of instruments. I heard that he was a very good musician. I heard he was really talented.
What do you remember about the day he died?
I was in my living room. We were watching the news; I think it was the "Today" show. We [eventually] heard he died from an overdose. We were so surprised. ... I was like, “Oh my gosh, all the legends are dying.” It was kinda sad. I didn’t really listen to his music, but I know he was a legend.
You know more than I thought you did.
I always do my research. I knew that you, Auntie, loved him and I was just like, "Why does she love him so much?" So I looked on YouTube, saw some of his shows. Me and my stepdad were watching a documentary on TV and I saw the high-heeled boots. They talked about the makeup and the magazines. They talked about him and his wife. I looked at how he was dancing in those high-heeled boots and I was just like, "My back would be hurting if I was dancing in some heels, too."
I don’t really think about him that much anymore now that he’s deceased. I wasn’t really into his music. Michael Jackson was the go-to. But some people are real Prince fans so I think they might know more than I do.
My Niece's Reactions to Prince's Videos
Back then (those midriff shirts) didn’t mean you were gay or bi. Men would wear that. This is jammin’. He always had that little booty. I guess I would be attracted to him in some way. He’s goofy.
Ayee, get it! Ayee, get it!
Why is (the woman) wearing that on her head?
“Willing and Able” (1991)
“Black Sweat” (2006)
I was born in 2006!
His hairstyle has changed. He looks older. I think he looks a little bit more masculine as he got older. It’s funny because you don’t see him moving around as much.
Um … why do they have that lady screaming like that?
That was really, really cool. [But] I didn’t understand the purpose of “Black Sweat.” She’s black and she’s sweating? Is she mad because there’s sweat on her?
No song I’ve heard of his is boring. Usually, people make albums and then it’ll be like one good song and then the rest will sound like they’re practicing. But he sounds like he knows what he’s doing. He looks handsome.
Of the three videos, which is your favorite?
Q&A with My Sister