ICON: US musician Prince watching the NBA All-Star game in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, in 2007.
ICON: US musician Prince watching the NBA All-Star game in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, in 2007. PAUL BUCK

“Prince always filled up my dancefloor”

IT was 1988 in New York, when Australian star DJ Stepken Allkins (Love Tattoo) saw Prince live for the first time at Madison Square Garden.

"I saw him live four times but that first gig was a three-hour show when he played all his hits and some other lesser-known songs that I loved," he said.

Now living in the Byron Shire, Mr Allkins first became aware of the late artist in 1980 when the Dirty Mind album hit our shores.

Byron Shire resident and Australian dance music icon DJ Stephen Allkins.
Byron Shire resident and Australian dance music icon DJ Stephen Allkins. Contributed

"I was a DJ at Patches, a club in Sydney back then. Dirty Mind, the actual track, was one of the first tracks that I used to remix with. I used to do 15-minute live remixes of it," he said.

"He influenced my entire career," he added.

Stephen Allkins is mourning the loss of the second of his music idols, after the death of David Bowie last January.

"I loved both their music but I played Prince a lot more in my sets, and Prince always filled up my my dance floor," he said.

Still in shock after the loss of his music idol, Mr Allkins said it is impossible for him to choose Prince's favourite song or album.

"That's how great Prince is, it's hard to say what is my favourite album, he's one of those few artists when you can't really pinpoint one album, but for sure Dirty Mind has to be one of my favourites," he said.

Asked about Prince's contribution to popular contemporary music, Mr Allkins said it's hard to define the scale of his weight in today's music landscape.

"It's hard to put into words what Prince brought because as much as he was technically gifted when he was playing live, singing and dancing and the production of his shows was exquisit but he was all about the feeling as well, that is hard to measure but that's the mark of a great artist."

Unmissable songs

If you want to re-discover Prince's music, here are five songs you want to listen to according to DJ Stephen Allkins.

  • Head / Dirty Mind (1980)
  • Nothing Compares to You (Released in Ultimate Prince, 2006)

 

Prince at a glance:

  • Birth name: Prince Rogers Nelson
  • Also known as: Jamie Starr, Christopher, Alexander Nevermind, The Purple One, Joey Coco, O(+>, The Artist Formerly Known as Prince, TAFKAP.
  • Born: June 7, 1958 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, US
  • Died: April 21, 2016 (aged 57) in Chanhassen, Minnesota, US
  • Genres: Funk, R'n'B, rock, pop, new wave, Minneapolis sound, synthpop
  • Occupations: Singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, actor, film director
  • Instruments: Vocals, guitar, bass guitar, drums, keyboards, Linn drum
  • Associated acts: The Revolution, Wendy & Lisa, The New Power Generation, The Time, Morris Day, Sheila E, Vanity 6, Apollonia 6, Mazarati, The Family, 94 East, Madhouse, Anna Fantastic, Andy Allo, 3rdeyegirl

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