5 Ways Prince Influenced My Career
Over the course of my career, people have always asked me who my role models, and I have always given the answer, that I have none, but I take qualities from different people, because I understand that we are all human, with positive and negative, so I take what inspires me from different people. Prince, Madonna, Oprah, Jay-Z, Malcolm X, Marcus, Garvey, and Bob Marley, are just a few of those people, who I pull from, when I need inspiration.
With his sudden passing, I have been forced to reflect on Prince, and those qualities that I have taken from him over the years, that have helped me to become the person that I am today.
As I started to become more popular, I realized how necessary it was to keep my personal life private, and control what was given to the public. I’ve seen examples over and over again, where the public will take and take until you have nothing left, and for my own self preservation, I had to make the decision to not be everywhere, to keep what should be private, private, and to create an air of mystery about myself, because no-one needs to know everything that is going on in your life.
Doing For Others
Much of my career has been spent doing for others; creating opportunities, building networks and infrastructure etc, but this is not something that I feel the need to publicize. I do it, because I believe in it, and believe that it’s the right thing to do. There are many, who have had opportunities fall in to their laps, without knowing the role I played in creating the opportunity for them. I don’t need the thanks; I just want to see people thrive, and I have no desire to be in the spotlight all the time.
Advocate for Artists
When I first stepped on to the poetry scene, there were established poets who advocated for me and other spoken word artists. From the beginning of my career, I understood that it would be necessary to pay that forward. Since then, I have been a staunch advocate for artists, particularly spoken word artists, and especially those of colour.
Appetite to create
I am most at home when I am creating. I often wish that I could be locked away in a studio, with the few who understand me, and just spend my days and nights creating. Whether it is poetry, videos, or photography, I am a lover of ideas, and my desire to create has fueled my career. In some way or another, I’ve put out almost twenty collections of my work over the past twenty-three years, as it makes no sense to me, to create, and keep it all to myself. Like Prince, there is a vault, on my computer, with much work that has yet to be released, and every month, I add more to the collection.
I am so in love with my supporters, some of whom have been there since the very beginning, and still show up for me. I understand that people have choices for how they spend their time and money, so I am very humble and grateful that people choose to spend theirs with me. As a result, I try to give as much as I can, back to those who support me. When I get on stage, I always try to give one hundred percent. For my Members Only show, I write a brand new show every year, where the poems will only be presented on that night, and then they’ll go back in to the vault. I give things away for free. I lend my time and talent to causes that may be important to my supporters, and I give what God has given me to give.
Beyond the music, there is much that Prince has given to me, as an artist that will live on with me forever. I value each of these characteristics, as they have made me in to the person that I am today.
I am grateful that a man I never had the pleasure to meet, was able to have such an important impact on my life. It seems small in comparison to what I received, but these few words are my final tribute to his life and genius.
Crying Tears of Purple Rain: CTV Canada AM
Dwayne MorganTags: activist, art, creation, Dwayne Morgan, legacy, poetry, Prince, purple rain, slave, when doves cry