"A strong spirit transcends rules."
"Despite everything, no one can dictate who you are to other people."
~ Prince ~
At various times throughout my life Prince has been on, then completely off my radar, for years at a time. Initially, I was intrigued with his musical genius and unique performances. I don't think I've ever danced as hard as I did to songs like '1999', 'Purple Rain', 'Raspberry Beret' and 'Little Red Corvette'.
My musical tastes changed throughout my 30s and 40s, especially after I had children. I lost interest when he changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol, and then to 'The Artist Formally Known As Prince'. I thought it was just a publicity stunt and I didn't understand his reasoning behind it.
In 2007, when he sang “Purple Rain” during a torrential downpour at the Super Bowl halftime show, I took notice again. That, I thought, is a consummate professional and he delivered a highly entertaining performance. It wasn't until his death in 2016, when I heard all the tributes about him, that I really began to pay attention to what his presence in my world really meant. Barack Obama said this, which touches on Prince's legacy:
“Few artists have influenced the sound and trajectory of popular music more distinctly, or touched quite so many people with their talent. As one of the most gifted and prolific musicians of our time, Prince did it all. Funk. R&B. Rock and roll. He was a virtuoso instrumentalist, a brilliant bandleader, and an electrifying performer. ‘A strong spirit transcends rules,’ Prince once said — and nobody’s spirit was stronger, bolder, or more creative.”
Now, as an artist, I often think of Prince whenever I get stuck in my creative process. I want to project my spirit, passion and love, for whatever I'm doing or creating. I want others to experience what I feel, see what I see, or get to know something of what I've learned, and art is my way of expressing it. This gets challenging at times, and I get caught up in the ways to make it happen. Sometimes, it means letting go of old habits, ideas, or any rules I may have followed in the past. Prince's legacy, for me, is about being bold enough to defy convention, challenge the status quo, and to fearlessly be who I am.