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Entertainment Prince's Vocalists on the Release of His New Posthumous Album 'Welcome 2 America' (Exclusive)

04:33  30 july  2021
04:33  30 july  2021 Source:   etonline.com

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Shelby Johnson smiling for the camera © ET Online

Prince fans are in for a real treat!

The icon left behind a massive music library of unreleased recordings at the time of his death in 2016. This week, Prince's estate and Legacy Recordings will release the posthumous album Welcome 2 America. The LP was recorded at Prince's Paisley Park studio in 2010, but shelved and placed in the vault shortly after being completed.

The music legend recorded the title track with two of his longtime friends and background vocalists, Shelby J and Liv Warfield, who opened up to ET about bringing Prince's music to his beloved fans after all these years.

"I remember recording it. But when I finally actually got my ears upon how beautiful and how prophetic he was, and just the energy around it," Warfield told ET, with J adding, "Prince is the gift that keeps on giving. It is wonderful that the world is going to get to experience this awesome, awesome album."

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From social justice to high-tech hookups, Prince's never-released, 12-track album is funky, political and so much more. The singers expressed that Prince always had his finger on the pulse of what was relevant and ahead of his time.

"He really cared about the world. And you can really hear that he's a poet. He's a storyteller. When you listen to the songs on this album, you'll be able to hear that," J relayed. "During that time, we had conversations about Black Wall Street, social media, of how things would have to get worse before it got better, where he saw the future going. Everything. He always had his finger on the pulse. He was so far ahead of things."

"So when you listen now, it's like, how could he be talking about this stuff?" she continued. "He's always been ahead of the curve and everything. But this album really speaks to what we're dealing with right now. In our country. And in the world. I think it's going to help people heal. I think it's going to make people excited about what they can do to make the world a better place."

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Inside Prince's Vault: Dozens of Unreleased Recordings

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Inside Prince's Vault: Dozens of Unreleased Recordings

The singers agree that Prince's message for the record was to "not take your eye off the ball." "[With these songs], he's giving you a road map to say, 'You know, we can make the world a better place. Here's what's wrong, but here's how we can fix it,'" expressed J, adding, "Socially, politically, spiritually, emotionally, he takes you on a ride through it all."

Welcome 2 America was recorded on one mic, the singers revealed, with Warfield recalling, "The overall energy of this recording process was really fast."

"We had to make sure when we got there, he knew his girls were ready. He was like, 'Y'all ready?'" J added. "Going in and cut it and we cut the tape. There’s no auto-tune, we didn't phone it in. There's no going back and fixing one note 18 times. Everybody had to be at the top of their game. And we delivered."

At Paisley Park, Prince's 'aura of mystique' lives on

  At Paisley Park, Prince's 'aura of mystique' lives on To the uninformed eye Paisley Park, Prince's home and studio in suburban Minnesota, could be anything -- an abandoned mall, a government compound, a utilitarian office building. Faced with a tax burden following Prince's passing, his estate looked to monetize the compound. Six days a week fans can take guided tours at costs ranging from $45-$160, depending on the experience.Visitors must seal their cell phones in special pouches at the entrance, and much of Paisley Park prohibits photography, a bid to stay in line with the artist's wishes.

J also remembered Prince's benevolent energy while recording the album, sharing that she has "great, beautiful memories" from that time. "He was in such good spirits during its time. I remember that as I look back at photos because I take a lot of photos and just remembering where he was with his energy and how that helped us," she said.

While this is the first new music coming from Prince's vault, there are still so many more unheard tunes. The vocalists shared that there are more songs that they recorded with him.

"We did so much singing. He would just fly us in and be like, 'I want y'all to sing on some stuff,'" J said. "We would just sing and he would just keep it. He kept everything…I'm excited to see what comes out next or what it's like opening up a time capsule and going back in time."

Warfield noted that music creation "was constant," with J adding that there was "constant creativity and creation… There's so much music, man. It's just gonna be just the gift that keeps on giving. And he's gonna continue to teach us and bless us for decades and decades and decades to come."

Welcome 2 America will drop on July 30.

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