Prince Tribute: A Musician Can Define Lives, by Veena Shaunak

Prince has had revered status in my head and heart for as long as I can actually remember. He has been the method to my madness, the incidental music to my internal struggles and has made the EP to every amazing event in my life. He is so winsomely embedded in my psyche that at the time of writing it doesn’t even register that he is now the ‘late’ Prince Nelson Rogers. The regality of his name gives him an immortal quality and I can’t quite process the fact that he is gone.

The tributes pour in and people are asked to name their top five or top ten Prince tracks. This feels wrong to me, and impossible. It’s like being asked to summarise 30 years of your life into 10 minutes. There have been times I’ve been so lonely that ‘Anastasia,’ ‘When Doves Cry’ or ‘Anotherloverholenyohead’ was really the only comfort I could find. I’ve been so loved and in love that ‘Adore’ or ‘Kiss’ was all I could do, enjoyed parties, raves, club nights and drinking games to ‘Seven,’ got funky to ‘My Name is Prince’ and danced the night away to ‘Cream’, ‘Batman,’ ‘Housequake’ and ‘I Would Die 4u’ to name but a few.

Prince Tribute: Prince nights truly were the best nights ever

In fact I lie. During my Uni days we had nights – Prince nights – where the DJ only played Prince songs all night, and they truly were the best nights ever. I can still picture that venue and more importantly, can practically memorise that electric and energetic playlist.

The girls he wrote about or with became my real friends, idols, girls I wanted to be. Cynthia Rose, Nicki, Sheila E, Appolonia in the heart-rending ‘Take Me With U’, the sassy wearer of the ‘Raspberry Beret’ and of course Sheena Easton, who inspired me to strut my stuff as a model in a GSCE Fashion Show. I told the fashion designers in the show that there simply was no other song to do it to.

Prince and I simply connected. He knew which songs I needed.

For every trial, tribulation, triumph and tragedy in my life, Prince has been there. I even gave birth to my first child – the most life changing moment I’ve ever experienced – back in ‘1999’. Prince and I simply connected. He knew which songs I needed and he still resonates deeply within me.

I have avoided listening to him since hearing the news of his death a week ago. I’ve skirted round my need for 80’s funk by indulging in my 12″ deep cuts and even MJ. But today I finally started to accept. ‘Sometimes It Snows In April’ cut through me with a searing pain; it did today as it did on its first listen. An incomprehensible loss.

Prince: 7 June 1958 – 21 April 2016

Our Prince Tribute is by Veena Shaunak, Literacy Co-ordinator and English Teacher at Moat Community College, a UK secondary school. Thanks Veena for a heartfelt Prince Tribute post!