Trill or Not Trill? It was a sad day for the world of music losing the phenomenal musician, singer/songwriter, colorful and talented Prince. We could find his influence in almost any current day artist in how they perform, sing, dress and play guitar. He influenced musicians such as Michael Jackson, Beyonce, Madonna, Justin Timberlake and hundreds more. Any time Prince stepped into a room you know it was going to be a party. He never fell short of brilliance with his dance moves or guitar solos. We may know someone like this in our work place, res halls or campuses.I am going to offer 4 steps on how you can become the Prince of your campus:
- Create your signature style:
If you are not familiar with Prince music (shame on you), you would at least recognize him from his unique and flamboyant outfits and presentation. From specially tailored purple suits to one piece yellow jumpsuits to personally-made high heeled shoes. For the most provocative outfit please see 1991 MTV Video Music Awards which I don’t recommend looking up at work. You knew if Prince was in the building you were going to have a visual experience, to say the least. As a student leader, you want to establish your own signature. If you are a musician, play at every show on campus. If you have a skill, embrace it and become the person people come to for that reason. Despite the criticism you may receive it is important that you stay consistent. Do what is important to you. After some time people will notice that it is not a gimmick and that you are for real.
- The Use of Profanity
Throughout his career Prince was criticized for his provocative music that featured inappropriate and sexually explicit lyrics. With songs like “Pussy Control” and “Sexy Motherfucker”, to name a few, he was not afraid to talk about
topics that people were not comfortable with. Of course, Prince never apologized for his art, however in 2014 he opted to stop cursing in his music. His main reason was because he felt that he needed to “treat all people, like royalty.” As a graduate assistant in student activities and student advisor I have often walked by groups of students and hear F-bombs and N-words being dropped so casually. Using this language publicly in student leadership is weak and lazy. Get creative with h
Take the adversity and turn it into greatnessow you use words to emphasize important concepts. Cursing will not attract the right people and you have the set the example despite how difficult it may be. If Prince could do it, trust me, you can too.
One of my favorite Prince performances was in Superbowl XLI when he had performed in the pouring rain in front of millions of people. Some performers would be nervous knowing they would have to dance on a slippery stage, play guitar while singing . Being the entertainer he is, when being asked whether he would be fine to perform in the rain he replied “Can you make it rain harder?” He went on to put the greatest performance in Superbowl history as he sang Purple Rain soaking wet. It was the perfect and most epic show. If you have ever had to put together a presentation for class or an event for the campus you know that things will go wrong no matter how many times you go through your repertoire. Be like Prince and embrace the conditions in which you are given and be great. If you are speaking and the mic goes out, put it aside and continue on. If the projector doesn’t work be ready to improvise. Trust yourself and be prepared.
- Team up with the best
Prince was known for creating his own music and doing mostly solo albums but when he did collaborate he did so by featuring the best artists of the time. He worked with artists like Lenny Kravitz, Amy Whinehouse, Mary J Blig
e and James Brown. Truth is, he didn’t need them for his success but he understood that it would bring the music to another level. Even if you have put in the hard work to great epic and legacious (a word I made up that means being worthy of a legacy) programs or clubs, think about elevating it by collaborating with other greats. We see this all the time in the corporate world with companies like Nike, Apple and Samsung. Imagine the type of work that can be created if departments, clubs, businesses and people worked harmoniously. Don’t forget you have something just as much as they do.
Antonio Talamo, M.A., is student affairs professional at Hudson Community College