A Paisley Park con Prince ha lavorato anche Joshua Welton

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Paisley Park StudiosLa data di pubblicazione di Art Official Age e PlectrumElectrum si sta avvicinando. Per ingannare l’attesa eccovi un paio di articoli. Il primo descrive le lussuose sale di registrazione della Paisley Park di Minneapolis, studi che hanno ospitato le sessioni di registrazioni dei due dischi. Il secondo è dedicato alla presentazione di Joshua Welton, il giovane artista, non che marito di Hannah Ford, che ha contribuito alla produzione del primo dei due dischi.

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Paisley Park: Step inside Prince’s incredible recording complex

17 hours ago September 05, 2014 11:44AM – SOURCE: news.com.au
Art Official Age, one of two new albums Prince releases this month.

Art Official Age, one of two new albums Prince releases this month. Source: Supplied

SEPTEMBER is a bumper month for Prince fans: the enigmatic pop icon is set to release two new albums, his first in four years, in the coming weeks.

One, Art Official Age, is a new Prince solo effort, while the other, PlectrumElectrum, is a collaboration with his rocking all-female band, 3rdEyeGirl.

While we haven’t yet heard the albums in full, one thing’s for sure: both records will be infused with the trademark Prince sound, honed at his luxurious Paisley Park recording studios in the outskirts of Minneapolis, Minnesota.

No dark and dingy recording studio for one Prince Rogers Nelson: the 56-year-old built Paisley Park studios following his mid-80s purple patch, with albums like Around the World in a Day, Parade and Sign of the Times recorded there.

The $10-million dollar complex looks somewhat underwhelming from the outside. Why, it could be any ordinary office in an industrial park:

Welcome to Prince Office Supplies, how may we help you?

Welcome to Prince Office Supplies, how may we help you? Source: Supplied

Inside, though, the facility is fully decorated to Prince’s particular, eccentric (read: wonderfully OTT) tastes. Take a look at these panoramic snaps:

The floor is embellished with the unpronounceable sign synonymous with Prince.

The floor is embellished with the unpronounceable sign synonymous with Prince. Source: Supplied

As you’d expect, the entire complex has a purple hue.

As you’d expect, the entire complex has a purple hue. Source: Supplied

Where magic happens.

Where magic happens. Source: Supplied

Check out those carpets!

Check out those carpets! Source: Supplied

The complex acts as Prince’s primary location for recording music, filming videos and rehearsing tours. It’s also home to ‘The Vault’, the secured room in which Prince stores all his output: song masters, live recordings, music videos and films.

So, the question every Prince fan is surely asking right now: How on earth do you get into Paisley Park studios?

Much has changed since the complex’s late-80s heyday, when it was used by the likes of Madonna, Paula Abdul and Fine Young Cannibal as a recording studio. Access to Paisley Park is much more strictly controlled nowadays.

Prince, after all, is a man who values his privacy above almost all else. He famously loathes the internet and in particular, illegal sharing of his music: “I have a team of female black lawyers who keep an eye on such transgressions,” he’s said.

Interviewers who’ve been invited to Paisley Park for an audience with the star have arrived only to find he won’t allow them to record the conversation (which makes life very difficult for any hapless journalist who doesn’t want to accidentally misquote the singer).

Imagine getting this invite.

Imagine getting this invite. Source: Supplied

However, if there is one thing that Prince values more than his privacy, it’s the electricity of performing to a live audience. Fans who’ve attended any of his Australian tours will no doubt recall that, after the thousands of happy punters have streamed out of jam-packed arenas and into the night after his mammoth shows, Prince regularly hotfoots it to small jazz clubs where he continues playing into the early hours of the morning.

Occasionally, Prince does throw open the doors of Paisley Park for these sorts of relatively impromptu shows. For Prince’s most recent listening party, Paisley Park After Dark, fans were treated to a DJ, live music, food and drink for a cover charge of just $30 — not bad for an audience with a superstar. There were conditions, however:

“There is a $30 cover charge at the door, and a shuttle service will deliver fans to Paisley Park from a remote parking lot. And, as usual, no phones, cameras or other recording devices will be allowed inside,” the invitation stated.

Our advice? Prince fans, if you’re ever in the US, it’s worth a pilgrimage to Paisley Park.

If you’re lucky, you might just get a golden ticket to come inside and party with the Purple One himself.

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Aurora native goes from local talent show to working with Prince

SOURCE: beaconnews.suntimes.com

From
From “Aurora Idol” to new Prince album, Joshua Welton’s father Clarence had a guiding hand in his son’s success. | Denise Crosby/Sun-Times Media

In only a decade, Aurora’s own Joshua Welton has gone from local “Idol” to TV star to international royalty.

That latter title? It refers to the most recent notch on the young man’s increasingly glitter-studded belt: The 24-year-old former “Aurora Idol” contestant performs with none other than the Prince himself on the funk icon’s newest album that Welton also helped produce, arrange and compose.

“Art Official Age,” described by music writers as a contemporary mix of soul, R&B and funk, is one of two albums by Prince and Welton that is set for release Sept. 29.

Highly anticipated, they are the first (almost) solo albums by “His Purple Majesty” in over four years. And it’s his first with Warner Bros. Records since breaking from the label 18 years ago over a dispute that led to the infamous name change, The Artist Formerly Known as Prince.

Turns out this double release is a Welton family affair: The second album, PlectrumElectrum, features Prince’s band, 3rd Eye Girl, which includes drummer Hannah Ford Welton, who also happens to be Josh’s wife of three years.

How Welton went from local talent contestant — he was actually the 2004 “Aurora Idol” runner-up — to making an album with rock royalty can be attributed to talent and timing, of course.

And it didn’t hurt Welton also happened to be married to an incredibly talented musician Prince would discover on YouTube when he decided to put together an all-girl band for his most recent worldwide tour.

But also playing a hand in this success is his father Clarence, who has guided Joshua Welton’s career from the time his second of six sons was 9 years old.

Indeed, only months after the “Aurora Idol” contest, the East Aurora High freshman signed a contract with Sony/Columbia that eventually led to a CD and reality show based on the lives of the teens in the band Fatty Koo.

Over the years, Welton worked with many Grammy Award-winning stars and producers. But it was Josh’s professional and personal relationship with Prince that could likely thrust this Aurora native into another stratosphere of success.

The elder Welton, who has met Prince several times, describes the star not only as a musical “genius,” but a “warm, gentleman of God.”

Because of their musical passions and Christian beliefs, “Prince, Hannah and Josh just clicked,” says 47-year-old Welton.

It’s that same faith that drives the father.

Music was always in his blood: The family includes jazz legend Count Basie, Clarence told me when I sat down with him for a visit Tuesday afternoon. But he grew up in the projects next to Cabrini Green, an angry young man who was kicked out of high school twice, and at age 15 lost his abusive father from “a gunshot to the head.”

It was while serving in the military that Welton turned his life around. Without a college education, he eventually worked his way up tobe an assistant vice president for several local banks and vowed to create a legacy that would become a model for his children to follow.

After spending the last decade helping his son achieve success, Welton quit his job a year ago to create INOJ Music Artist LLC, a business based in Naperville that helps develop young new musical talent.

Among his clients are Sheridan Archbold, a 12-year-old Yorkville boy who appeared on this season of “America’s Got Talent” and, according to Welton, is “considered one of the top young male sopranos in the country.” He also works with 14-year-old Lindsay Kent from Shorwood and Mitch Watson, “an extremely gifted” musician from Naperville.

Clarence Welton says his mission is to “help young talent stay in line to master their craft, as well as understand the power of influence.”

And it’s “not just about beat and production,” he insists. “We want these young musicians to master their craft with integrity and character to move it forward.”

Certainly his son is doing just that.

Clarence showed me a a 2004 video of then 14-year-old Josh performing that last musical number for his Aurora audience before getting voted off “Idol.”

The song: Prince’s “Purple Rain.”

“God has something better for me,” he told his father when he heard he’d not won the talent contest.

His father smiles proudly. “And you know, he was right.”

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