Intentionally this article was written for a report on Celebration 2019 for The Current but I missed the deadline due to flying back to London so I decided to share it here on my blog. Enjoy!
This year was my first time attending Celebration and also my first time travelling to America. I wanted to do everything!
I was worried about going on this trip because I buried a lot of grief over the past three years. I felt guilty attending Celebration because Prince asked me to come down for the PAM Gala in January 2016 but I declined because the weather was too cold. However I did promise him that I would come in the Summer 2016 but never got the chance because he passed in the April. I used this trip was to fulfil a broken promise and a chance for me to gain some closure.
My Highlights - Jeff Katz and Jesse Johnson panels were entertaining and informative. One day it would be nice to see Jeff Katz releasing a book on his photographs. Jesse expressing his side of his story on him being a hater but hurting and crushed on what happened between him and Prince was an eye opener.
My favourite quotes from Jesse Johnson’s panel -
“Love, Respect You. Do You!”
“It’s not the quality of the equipment it’s the talent”
The NPG Funk Soldiers (Kat Dyson, Xavier Taplin, Michael Herring, Ida Nielsien and Kip Blackshire) panel in the NPG Music Club. They played “Dreamin’About U” at the beginning of the panel. Talked about the making of “Look At Me, LookAt U” for Hit N Run Phase Two (2013) and The Funky Bald Heads (90’s).
My favourite quotes from the NPG Funk Soldiers panel -
“Everything he does was intended”
“He was pushing himself and anyone around him”
“If it wasn’t good enough he would leave”
Meeting Tyka and giving her a hug gave me a sign of relief. Despite all the negative comments said about her online meeting her made her more human to me. I had a sense of understanding that she is hurting having to deal with this massive task to preserve her brothers legacy the right way.
The opening statement for the first day of Celebration -
“Paisley Park is about Family. The family will soon take control on the estate. Give help, positivity, be kind towards the family. Keep the legacy alive. Enjoy!”
Meeting my Podcast Juice and Muse 2 The Pharaoh family, if they didn’t convince to come this year I wouldn’t have went. I had a moment in Electric Fetus buying Prince’s favourite essence sticks Garden of Eden, I felt his presence heavily.
I wish Bob Cavallo talked more about the making of Under The Cherry Moon as Parade is my era. His stories on the early years of Prince’s career was quite refreshing for a young fan as myself as I could see myself in similar struggles. The Graffiti Bridge panel was interesting when they mention it was more of an visual album which helped me look at the film in a different perspective.
The doves cooing after my pink jumpsuit as I was the last person to leave the Atrium in my tour was a fun moment because they got real loud. My bad!
Shelby J coming to dance next to me while The Revolution was performing on the Sound Stage at Paisley. Meeting Tony Christian from Mazarati ( The Bad Boy’s of Paisley if The Revolution and The Time had a baby it would be Mazarati).
Just being in Paisley Park was good enough for me.
Magical Musical Moments - Watching Prince on big screen at The Armory felt like he was physically on stage with band which was a bitter sweet moment. The Funk Soldiers performing “U Make My Sun Shine” and Madhouse “Thirteen” I was losing my mind because they was performing some of my favourite songs in the building that they was created in.
The Revolution were amazing as always, I wish that they changed some of the songs on the set list for Celebration to make the performance a bit more special for the occasion.
Listening to the unreleased track in Studio A broke me as I always wanted Prince to create a Jazz album.
Overall Impressions - The energy exchange in Paisley Park felt like I was at home. Next year they should have pancakes on the menu during the lunch break. The city, the people and the music made me understand a bit more why Prince was the way he was. I wouldn’t change anything about my trip or Celebration I just wish he was still here. Celebration felt like a University seminar on Purple Music. As long as we can still attend the legacy will live 4ever!
The Energy Never Dies.
Chloe Calvin nicknamed by Prince as C.C. is a London based Radio Presenter and Purple Enthusiast. You can find her at www.chloecalvin.com - Chloe Calvin Facebook, Instagram @chloe.calvin or @Lil_MissCC on Twitter.