Prince’s purple reign is eternal. His first posthumous album, Welcome 2 America, was initially shelved back in 2010 and stored in his famous Paisley Park vault. Now, the 12-track LP is available for the world to hear. In celebration of the momentous occasion, Audacy is launching an exclusive station dedicated to the sounds of The Purple One.
Prior to his tragic passing in 2016, Prince left behind an extensive library of recordings that his estate has been going through ever since. Though the album is technically a decade old, its content is very much a "sign of the times." Keyboardist, longtime collaborator/friend of the late icon and co-producer of Welcome 2 America, Morris Hayes, discussed with NPR about the need for the LP to be both "light and heavy" and blend "easy-listening and thought-provoking" content.
"Prince always was about balance when it came to albums. He looked at albums as stories. Like a book, it's got chapters, it's got ups and downs," Hayes explained. Hayes also recalls the singer expressing that he has songs "better than 'Purple Rain'" and knows that he "did intend" for his previously shelved music to be released.
Hayes told Raw Story that the album is "a laser-focused assault on the condition of America." He explained, "What's going on with social media, social justice, and social consciousness... this is a concerted effort to really speak about these things. I really dug how raw it was, and as far as my production, I just wanted to keep it to where its raw and I don't get in the way of what he's trying to say."