While everyone else seems to have accepted that Prince has left us over two weeks ago, I can't. Prince is a part of my life. I still wait for the big announcement that Prince has played a trick on us to see how we do. I expect him to return and bring us comfort. It is just too painful to think he might really be gone. A world without Prince feels empty. If the news is really true a big part of me has been ripped out, leaving an ugly oozing hole right in my core that can never heal.
Prince has influenced me in so many ways. Among them to live life to the fullest, trust in God, allow myself to discover who I really am and live by it. Now, I cannot even listen to his voice without being seriously upset.
Apart from my violin and my sister, Prince is a rock-solid reality in my life. First came my violin, then my sister. Prince's entrance into my existence hit like the beat of the drum. I clearly remember the night. It was 1986 in a tiny disco in Kreuzberg, Berlin, called the "Bronx". The DJ played "Kiss". What kind of music was that? It was so different from the usual. This music was tight, somehow sparse, and straight forward. A totally different kettle of fish! And how cheeky were those lyrics?! I listened perplexed and dance-less and processed for a while - then went over to the DJ to ask who this was.
Throughout the following 30 years, I witnessed and partied through many, many Prince concerts on several continents. In 2002, I saw him perform in two venues, one concert following the next during the same tour. How amazing! He played a completely different set the second night. It must have been a challenge for his musicians. For his loyal audience, it was fantastic, though.
The magic of Prince totally unfolds during live performances. He is the master of a huge, unforgettable party. It is a life-changing event that eternally uplifts and stays with you forever. I've seen many great musicians but they never made me feel that way: that this night's performance is carefully crafted just for me. Prince's connection to the audience truly is mind-blowing. There was no concert where we were not happily singing together, and of course dancing. He can't be gone! This world needs his energy.
Should the news really be true, Prince has sacrificed himself to us ordinary mortals. Reading now that he was on strong painkillers makes sad sense if you have ever seen him dance and give it all, including the astounding splits he used to sprinkle into his shows.
Prince has always been sparkling with wit and boundless energy. He apprehends and deeply knows womankind, he is tongue-in-cheek funny, and totally understands how to gently play with his audience. What a voice acrobat he is, what an incredibly versatile composer, multi-instrumentalist, dancer, fashion designer and producer. How often did Prince make me smile and chuckle with his erotic, cheeky and cheerful lyrics, written in his smart shorthand, and his sexy shows? Prince is the only all-round artist we have. How much joy has he brought to the world with his oeuvre! He can't be gone.
Sometimes I met those downright groupies who spend their lives in Prince's footsteps. Unfortunately, they often liked to boast with their "insider" knowledge. I was never too interested in Prince's private life. I never thought I had any right to "know everything" about him. What Prince presented through his music, lyrics and performance truly was good enough for me.
Once I was told that I had chosen the better concert night because the night before Prince had played a few wrong notes! Yeah, right! What is that in people that they always like to pick on genius? People who can probably barely hold an instrument think they can make a judgement? Incredibly enough, Prince is human. Humans make mistakes. That's how we recognise that they are!
What kind of pressure do we "normal" people actually dare to put on those gifted and talented higher beings among us? Why is it so acceptable, also from the press, to be negative? Why do we turn a blind eye to the pressure it puts on those we adore so much? It destroys them! Is that what makes us feel good? Drug and alcohol abuse is so common in the classical scene as much as in popular music.
We, the ordinary crowd, should be thankful for the gifted and talented amongst us. We should be very quiet and humbly listen, taking in as much as we can of what they want to adorn us with. This way, we may catch a glimpse of heaven through their genius and feel closer to the good side of humanity.
If the news of Prince's passing is really true, humankind has not only lost an artist. The world has turned monochrome. It absolutely can't be true.