For those of you who have not heard yet, Prince is hosting a “gala” at Paisley Park on January 21st. Since Prince announced the show on twitter this morning, there has been chatter of many people flying in from all over the country and the globe. I have had the honor of meeting many of these people at past shows and am ecstatic about sharing my 30th Paisley Park experience with so many wonderful human beings.

The amount of notice we have allows us an ample amount of time to create hype within ourselves. For me, this conjures memories of my first Paisley Park experience. When I was very young, I would beg my mother to take me to the park with her, but she prohibited me from going until I was 10-years-old. Of course, once this time came, Prince was no longer playing shows at Paisley, which resulted in many weekend drive-bys that ended in picnics at Lake Ann (across the highway from Paisley Park).

When I was 19, I got my first opportunity. I was managing a restaurant at the time, and there was a party announced on the 3rdeyegirl live stream chat 40 minutes in advance. I almost hopped out of bed at that very second. Instead, I accepted my responsibilities and decided to skip the show. There was talk about there being another party the next night since they were rehearsing for the Montreux shows. The date was 7-6-13, which meant that the party would go into 7-7-13 (exactly 6 years after my very first Prince concert). I had just worked from 6 am to 10 pm and was due to work another 9 hour shift starting at 6 am the next morning, but I was determined to experience the magic of the park for the first time.

When I arrived, I was instantly part of a beautiful community. While we all waited on a side street for the gates to open, I met some people that have been prominent parts of my life ever since. For any of you that have the chance to go to the show in a couple weeks, I strongly urge you to find a way to make it. Being at Paisley Park is so much more than seeing Prince perform. I am always perfectly content when he doesn’t perform; it gives me a place to party with some of the best people in my world in an alcohol- and distraction-free environment.

I’ve been holding back a good deal longer than I shouldaoughta.

For a few months leading up to that night, “Courtin’ Time” had been my alarm clock song. Waking up to a playful, jazzy track was just the push I needed to start my day in a positive way. It was also the perfect song to start my expedition through many nights within those purple walls. With the NPG Hornz taking charge of the show, they burst into a jam with the only vocals being shouted from the middle of the audience…by me.

All the friends I thought I had, I found out they were not at all. With no regrets, the joy I get from knowing that you’re mine; a thousand times a victor I am.

This line is incredibly relevant to that night. Any friendship I had prior to meeting the people in my purple posse can’t hold a candle to what we have. Loving individuals who are so different from you is one of the most enriching experiences you can have in life. Coupled with the uplifting nature of Prince’s music, that night was the beginning of a more elevated form of existence for me. Experiencing Prince’s music in an intimate, casual setting makes you feel incredibly connected to the music, and the community he has effortlessly created in his hometown is one that everyone should experience. That being said, I hope to see you all on the 21st!

Put on your good dress, baby – it’s courtin’ time!

Listen to “Courtin’ Time” via Tidal

Purchase “Courtin’ Time” and the rest of the Emancipation album at the Tidal Download Store

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