An announcement was made via a Vanity Fair article that revealed two joyous news items for Prince fans. The first being that Sirius XM would be having channel dedicated to Prince during the month of May. The second being that a 2-1/2 hour radio show concept entitled 3121 Radio that was recorded by Prince and DJ Rashida many years ago would air on the temporary Sirius XM channel.
The demo broadcast show was recorded in 2005 during a discussion between Prince and Sirius Satellite Radio that would feature content curated by Prince and focus on his musical influences and preferences, as well as showcasing unreleased, live recordings and interviews.
SiriusXM President and chief content officer Scott Greenstein told Vanity Magazine, “I really wanted Prince to turn his full creative genius into a curated radio experience.”
While the show was never solidified on SiriusXM, the demo tape sat in Greenstein’s desk until recently during the quarantine when he decided that he would release the never before recording during the month-long tribute to Prince.
DJ Rashida reflects back on the creation of the 3121 Radio who herself didn’t have an opportunity to listen to the tape since it was created. Additionally, soon after she spoke with several other Prince collaborators explained who among them had already heard the demo. “Nobody,” Rashida said, laughing, “I don’t think anybody knows that it exists other than the people who directly worked on it or were there while we were working on it,”
DJ Rashida plays the host of the show which mostly features Prince through his music, but he does make appearances on the mike along with other special guests like comedian Katt Williams who was chosen by Prince to add a comedy flair by playing a caller named Ezekiel.
The content of the demo features a good mix of music from both Rashida and Prince. “It’s a mix of things I was playing at the parties at the time and music he’d introduced me to,” Rashida said. “It’s such a trip listening back to it just now.” She picked artists such as Björk, and Prince would add in Mother’s Finest. It was a “mix of my stuff and his stuff,” Rashida said. “Really our stuff.”
The lost (and only) episode has lots of great cuts from David Bowie, Parliament, Marvin Gaye and others including some artists that many not be familiar with like J*Davey, an artist that Rashida had played for Prince. Most of the music unveiled on the show circle around Prince‘s album 3121, which was new material for him at the time.
It also features an interview with filmmaker Sanaa Hamri who at the time had directed Something New plus there are a lot of unique segues similar to the way he approached the radio shows during the days of the NPG Music Club.
For many unfamiliar with DJ Rashida, she was Prince’s touring DJ for a decade and the two of them had thrown many afterparties and private invite-only events where Rashida would entertain. She spoke about the mutual respect for each other where she would share music with Prince and he would do the same.
While Funkatopia’s online radio show and FUNKEDUP app featured 24/7 Prince music during the entire month of April, it goes back to its normal programming during the month of May, which makes this amazing timing for Prince fans.
SiriusXM subscribers will receive information on the new station channel which begins airing on May 1st and that also currently features permanent channels for other artists like Tom Petty, Grateful Dead, and others.
Luckily for those who don’t subscribe, they can take a 3 month trial run which is plenty of time to enjoy the entire month of Prince on the new 3121 Radio (although it looks as if it’s simply going to be called Prince Radio according to the latest posted logo)if you (assuming they go with that name), and you can sign up with this special link to enjoy a free trial.
In more good news, Funkatopia’s Mr. Christopher also announced on Tuesday nights’ Funkatopia Live that the 24/7 Prince broadcasts would resume for the month of June, which means 2 more full blown months of all Prince.
Be sure to take advantage of this free trial and tune in to SiriusXM’s 2nd attempt at a run of a Prince channel. The best thing Prince fans can do is to show the channel some love and tune in as much as possible to communicate the importance of a Prince inspired channel.