The Official Documentary to be made by Movie Director, Benjamin Jimerson-Philips.
Siblings of pop icon Prince have hired movie and television producer/director Benjamin Jimerson-Philips, to direct the ‘official’ documentary for PRN family records and New Power Soul Band/Prince. The documentary has been shot in part at famed Paisley Park Studios.
Musical legend, a prodigy during his time, fashion icon and regarded as the frontiersman of Minneapolis sounds, Prince was much more than the music time he found himself. Prince music was famous for the power it’s filled with, the emotion it evokes and the controversy it spans. Prince Successful career in music lasted for decades, which was something that doesn’t happen every day in the music industry.
His music had a bit of everything from funk, dance to rock embedded in creative musical compositions which were sexualised. With over a 100 million records sold, Prince was counted among the best-selling artist in the industry and ranked number 27 on Rolling Stone list of 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
His Childhood and Early Life
Prince was born Prince Roger Nelson on the 7 of June 1958 in Minneapolis to Mattie Della and John Lewis Nelson who were both musical oriented as the father was a pianist and had a band called Prince Rogers and a mother who was a jazz singer. His parents were his biggest supporters and encouraged him to explore music and cultivate his love for it and with this guidance from his parents; he started creating musical tunes at an early age of seven.
He self-taught himself how to play most of the musical instrument like the guitar, piano and even the drum and sometimes tried teaching it to someone even though he was still learning. He would practise for hours non-stop, music was a passion ingrained in his blood and he was determined to be more than what everyone thought of him, as his family even though encouraged him to nurture his passion for music never thought he would go on to be such a sensational international music superstar.
At the age of ten, his parents got divorced and Prince found himself switching between staying with his father for a while and his mother on other occasions. This still didn’t deter him from his dreams and at the age of fourteen, he created his first band called the Grand Central which was later renamed Champagne. He Potential couldn’t be ignored and he grew up to become an artist the world has never seen before and making music that separated him from the crowd.
Prince is regarded as the frontiersman for what was known as the Minneapolis sounds and was widelydescribed to be a combination of rock, funk and pop with lyrics that aresexual in nature. At the age of seventeen, Warner Bros signed his as a solo artist and he requested that he personally produce his albums as well as play all the necessary instruments, this request took everyone by surprise but were granted. He was very shy even though his music was the exact opposite of who he is.
In April of 1978, his first album debuted and made decent sales, not as expected but was good and in 1979, his second album was released named ‘Prince’ and featured singles that were popular and went platinum, the ‘I Wanna Be Your Lover’ and ‘Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad’ and this cement his career as a star.
Within two year period, Prince released other highly controversial albums that also contained songs that went platinum, the ‘Controversy’ album in 1981 and the ‘1999’ album in 1982. These songs quickly spread like a wildfire among youngsters as the lyrics were not surprised at all ‘explicitly sexual’.
His career by now was growing at a very fast pace and even amidst the controversies, he released a new album titled ‘Purple Rain’ featuring songs like ‘When Dove Cry’ and ‘Let’s Go Crazy’ and sold over 15 million copies. In that same year, the album was used as the soundtrack for a film titled the same name in which Prince also made his first movie debut. The movie was ranked number one in the box office and won him an Oscars for the best original song score.
All through the ‘80s, Prince went on an extensive tour promoting his albums and songs and at the same time recording music that were a hit like the ‘Parade’ in 1986, ‘Sign o’ the Times’ in 1987 featuring Sheena Easton, ‘love sexy’ in 1988 and ‘Batman’ in 1989 which was also used as the soundtrack for the movie.
The ‘90s saw his career cranked up more as he created a new band called the New Power Generation and recorded albums such as the Gold Experience (1995), Chaos and Disorder (1996), Emancipation was also released that same year with Crystal Ball and the Truth in 1998 and Rave Un2 the Joy fantastic (1999). This era also saw his discontent with Warner Bros and him changing his name and referred to as ‘the man formerly called prince’.
His career just kept going up from there without any signs of slowing down, with an album in 2004 titled ‘Musicology’ and went on tour around the world playing in 21 concerts in London and other shows in Europe. In 2015, he released a song titled ‘Baltimore’ to support the protesters during the period when Freddie Gray died in police custody.
His Major Works, Awards and Achievements
During his lifetime as an artist, he produced 39 albums with over 100 single and 100 million sold records all over the world. He had about four of his album going platinum and sold over 22 million copies of the Purple Rain album which also earned him an Oscars. His Song o’ Times album has also been ranked by Time Out Magazine to be the greatest of all time.
Princehas been nominated 32 times in theGrammys and walkedawaywith seven of theawards ranging from Best Rock Performance and best traditional R&B Performance and the albums ‘1999’ and ‘Purple Rain’ was awarded the Grammy Hall Of fame Award and in 2010 was named one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World.
Prince has been linked romantically to a lot of women counting Kim Basinger, Madonna, his purple rain co-star Apollonia Kotero, Denise Matthews (who was also his protégée), Sheila E and Susanna Hoffs (the bangles’ star) among others.
He was engaged to Susannah Melvoin and was rumoured to be the inspiration for the song ‘nothing compares to you’ but their engagement didn’t last long and after then he got into a relationship with Kim Basinger.
After that relationship ended, he got involved with Mayte Garcia and they got married on Valentine’s Day in 1996, and Prince was 37 years and she was 22 years old. They had a baby boy named Boy Gregory, who was tragically lost to Pfeiffer syndrome a week after birth. This put a lot of strain on their marriage and in 1998 they divorced.
In the year 2001, Prince became a Jehovah witness and married Manuela Testolini, but the marriage didn’t last long as five years later she files for a divorce. He lived a more secluded life in his home in Paisley Park and on the 26th of April 2016, he was reported dead and at the age of 57.
The PRN family records are created and managed by the family in order to carry on his legacy through the three core value which is truth, harmony and love to support Prince News, events and a special announcement.
Importance of the Project
Prince’s lifetime, although successful was plagued with many controversies and rumour which no one is really certain about its authenticity and this was made even harder and impossible by the fact that Prince lived a very private life.
No one really knew what was going on inside his home in Paisley Park and except for the few times that words get out, nothing much is known about him, not even from friends and in one interview prince said “I wish more of my friends would come by. A lot of times they think I don’t want to be bothered.”
During his life, only very few persons had the chance to visit his home and get a glimpse of what his life really looks like. This documentary hopes to portray everything about his life, his career and his family, to give his fans and the world the full picture of his life behind the scene and clear up if not all them most of the controversies.
As the documentaryis alreadyin process, it is hopeto becompleted soon and the general public can have a front row seat to see Prince Life unfolds. With this documentary, the family of prince hopes to preserve his legacy for generation to come.
The location where most of the documentary will be filmed – the Paisley Park was the home and sanctuary of Prince. Located in the suburb of Chanhassen Minnesota, the Paisley Park is about 65,000 square-feet and comprises a recording and production complex. During his lifetime, Prince would open its doors to the public for events and performance.
He once said, “the Paisley Park is pretty much representative of everything I am musically”. It was his home and a place where he can express himself without any limitation, it was his freedom, love and harmony and they are ever-present until this day at Paisley Park. The place is now open for fans and the public to tour and have a glimpse of this unique place and the life he lived.
The Director Behind the Documentary
Benjamin Jimerson-Philips is an Indie filmmaker who first met Prince and his band in 1982 and is credited with producing 7 movies including comedian Katt Williams first movie ‘Treasure N Tha Hood’; as well as Oscar and Emmy Award-winning Actors; and hit recording artist Mya’s new television series: 5th Ward.
Jimerson-Philips started his career in the music industry as a casting agent for music videos and received multiple golds and platinum awards and has worked with many famous artists like Brandy, R. Kelly, Jay Z, 50 Cent, Paula Abdul among others. But his major focus was in the filmmaking industry and after acquiring a certificate from the Hollywood film institute to become a cinema director and line producer, and went ahead to fulfil his dream.
He has produced award-winning motion pictures and was commissioned as a “Goodwill Ambassador” by Arkansas governors. He has also written many bestselling books like the Prodigal son, child of the king and “A day in the life” among others. He has been recognised for his works by Governors and the Congress.
Jimerson-Philips has spent an incredible amount of time at Paisley Park with Prince Siblings and his handpicked musicians comprising his band New Power Soul. Part of the documentary will focus on the creation of PRN family Records (Prince Rogers Nelson Family), and their quest to continue Prince’s musical legacy, by signing exceptionally talented new artist.
This is a huge project and been given the opportunity to direct it will not only add to his portfolio, but also get to work closely with family to show the world the side of Prince the way
it has never been seen. After the completion of the documentary all the unanswered questions that has been plaguing the minds of everyone for decades will finally has some light shaded on them.
And according to Prince himself, he just a normal human like every other person and “when people say about me that I live in a prison and don’t go anywhere, it’s just not true. I go to the store; I go to ballets, movies, and the park. I live like everybody else. But I play music every day.” We hope to see all of that and more after the release of documentary, the feeling is so exciting.