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11/10/09 - Intervista in cui parla anche della perdita di Michael Jackson

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10/25/2009 1:25 AM
 
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After two concerts at the Grand Palais on Sunday, October 11 at Paris, Prince said he fell asleep at dawn after he watched the DVD of French Kiss, a romantic comedy starring Meg Ryan and Kevin Kline (1995). Monday, October 12th, around 13 h 30, the singer, guitarist and producer, 51 years, still receives the press in the Chinese Room of the Hotel Costes in the 1st arrondissement of Paris. Andalusian black hat and sunglasses mask his face, wearing a purple coat , the stylized star walks leaning on a silver cane (it seems he suffers from a hip problem, limp noticed by many spectators at the concerts at the Grand Palais). Before the small press conference, Prince gives "Le Monde" twenty minutes of one of his rare interviews, provided we did not record it but only take notes. He is constantly smiling and very cool.


Have you enjoyed your concert at the Grand Palais?

I had even more fun at the second concert. I attended the Chanel fashion show (Tuesday, October 6), I noticed that the applause and the vibrations of sound seemed to rise along the canopy and descend on you. I started to imagine what would it be like to give a concert at this place. Lily Allen played at the Chanel fashion show. I told myself that if Lily Allen can give a concert, why not me?

For several years, you've cultivated the art of surprise concerts in exceptional locations...

I now prefer this format above the traditional tour, it tempts me more. I like being the first and the last to do something. When I played in London in 2007, the O ² Arena, I asked the producers what had been the record number of shows played consecutely in their venue. They said six. I said that I wanted to do twenty-one. During two weeks they refused me, nobody had ever played for so long. All concerts were nevertheless sold out. Since then, Michael Jackson showed me that I should go farther (Michael Jackson had planned to fifty concerts in this venue for what should be his big comeback).

Do you have a special relationship with the city of Paris?

I have long had a flat at Avenue Foch, but too many fans came in the middle of the night singing songs that I don't even play anymore. Paris is a very erotic city, it's exciting what's happening in the streets . There is always something to watch. Some monuments, the Eiffel Tower or the obelisk of the Concorde, are very clear symbols of love (laughs). For me, Paris is also a city of art, a symbol against tyranny.

You give concerts whenever and wherever you like, you publish the recordings at your convenience through multinational, independent labels, via mail order or download. One has the impression that you've never been as free as a performer and studio artist. When did you obtain this freedom?

This freedom has always been there artistically. In my case, for example, when I started dressing extravagant in order not to be labeled because of my clothes. In any way, I used my skin more often than real clothes. On other hand, I had to battle for my economic freedom against the record companies.

At the time of Purple Rain, we got 1 million dollars for the videos, promotion, packaging, manufacturing ... At the end, the record company said the owned the album. For years, artists have been ripped off. No wonder so many have ended pennyless. We must surrender our rights to people who have nothing to do with the creative process. Do you think it's the CEO of a label that inspired Jimi Hendrix?

Can we compare this approach to a political process?

In the U.S., the media are controlled by the state. You can not put the state in question. That is why there was more political music at the time of Woodstock and the heydays of soul music which was born with the civil rights movement. I would have loved to be living at that time. I wasn't so lucky, but my albums have often been controversial, particularly in my approach to sexuality.

If artists earn their freedom, then we'll get a new golden age of soul music. Some industry people and journalists have been campaigning against me, accusing me of being a rebel for purely egotistical reasons, while the challenge is much greater. They also said I was trying to get away from the mainstream, while I'm in the middle of it. Look, my concert tickets are never sold out so quickly.

This freedom does have a price?

If I am for freedom in all things, we must also know not to go too far. That's why I belong to Jehovah's Witnesses. They help me balance my life ,give me a purpose in life and offer me a worldview.

At your concert at the Grand Palais, you've performed a song the Jackson 5 Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground). Was it a tribute?

My singer Elisa has the same timbre as Michael when he was young. And a good song is a good song.

How did you feel at the death of Michael Jackson?

(Prince, obviously reluctant, does not want to dwell on the subject.) It is always sad to lose someone you loved.
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