Published Nov 13, 2015In 2010, funk superstar Prince refused to release his music digitally because, according to him, "the internet's completely over." Now, five years later, he has followed up that outrageous quote by saying that, in fact, he was right about the internet.
"What I meant was that the internet was over for anyone who wants to get paid, and I was right about that," he said in an interview with the Guardian. "Tell me a musician who's got rich off digital sales. Apple's doing pretty good though, right?"
Okay, we can probably think of a few artists who have got rich of digital sales (Psy, anyone?). Still, Prince's perspective — that artists suffer while the industry itself prospers — explains why his music still remains difficult to find online. A few months back, he pulled his music from all streaming services except Tidal, and his HITNRUN album was a Tidal exclusive.
Then again, maybe the internet isn't all bad. The Purple One said, "Oh, I love critics. Because they love me. It's not a joke. They care. See, everybody knows when somebody's lazy, and now, with the internet, it's impossible for a writer to be lazy because everybody will pick up on it. In the past, they said some stuff that was out of line, so I just didn't have anything to do with them. Now it gets embarrassing to say something untrue, because you put it online and everyone knows about it, so it's better to tell the truth."
All in all, his interview with the Guardian sounded profoundly awkward. Prince apparently had a few journalists seated at his feet (while he wore platform flip-flops with socks), and he was interviewed while sitting at a keyboard; if he didn't like a question, he played the theme from The Twilight Zone and didn't say anything.
In the coming weeks, Prince will be playing some stripped-down European dates with no accompaniment other than his own piano playing. See the currently confirmed details here.