Ingrid Chavez talks Prince collaborations and recording poetry at Paisley Park in her Purple Hour playlist

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Ingrid Chavez and Andrea Swensson
Prince collaborator Ingrid Chavez, left, and Purple Current host Andrea Swensson (Minju Kim MPR)
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Ingrid Chavez was at Williams Pub in Uptown when she met Prince. The musician/poet/actress had just moved to Minneapolis and decided to visit the pub for its weekly funk night, where Prince was sitting at the bar. That night, he invited her to Paisley Park, igniting a lasting friendship and a number of collaborations between the two artists, including the album Lovesexy and film Graffiti Bridge.

Chavez visited the Purple Current studios to talk with host Andrea Swensson about working with Prince and recording an album of poetry at Paisley Park. She shared the stories behind some of Lovesexy's songs and Prince's influence on her solo work. You can listen to the full mix using the player above, or keep reading for Chavez's run-down of some of the songs on her Purple Hour playlist.

Purple Hour playlist


Prince - Dance On (Lovesexy)
Ingrid Chavez - Heaven Must Be Near
Prince - I Wish U Heaven (Lovesexy)
Prince - Alphabet Street (Lovesexy)
Prince - Anna Stesia (Lovesexy)
Prince - Thieves In The Temple (Graffiti Bridge)
The Time - Love Machine (Graffiti Bridge)
Prince - Uptown (Dirty Mind)
Ingrid Chavez - You Gave Me Wings

Heaven Must Be Near

"Heaven Must Be Near" was one of those poems that I wrote for Prince. It talks a lot about love. You can sense there's some insecurity in there about relationship stuff, but we talked a lot about heaven, and just what is that, what happens when we're not here any longer? You can live as though heaven is on Earth. So that was a poem I wrote for him.

Alphabet Street

One time for lack of anything more interesting to say, I just started reciting the alphabet, and next thing you know there's "Alphabet Street." [Prince] had me come into the studio and record me saying the alphabet, and as people may have noticed, there's no 'G' there, but that was not intentional. He was just playing around with me, and I got distracted.

Anna Stesia

That's the song that's the beginning of our friendship. That song, "Anna Stesia," is just really important to me. Just to know that I'm the character in that song is like it just lives on. It goes on beyond me. It's bigger than me, and to know that that night [we met] really meant something so special to him, and me of course. I don't know where I would be. I would've been a musician anyways because that was my path, but it would've taken a totally different course. There's so many things that were born out of that night, including that song.

Thieves In The Temple

When [Prince] recorded that he was so excited. And for him to come and be like, "Ingrid, you come to the studio, you got to hear this song." It's so good just to know when he knows something is good and for him to drag you in and want to share that with you is a really special thing.

Uptown

One of my favorite songs is "Uptown." It was before I moved here — to love that song and then to come here like, "This is Uptown, this is what the song is about." That was really big for me.

I was deeply into David Sylvian's music around the time I met Prince, so it was off my radar that my life would go this way. Isn't it strange? Life is interesting. You just got to yes, though. You got to yes, because you just don't know what opportunities are before you if you just say yes and throw yourself into it.

You Gave Me Wings

Ganga, who is the co-writer on that, he had sent me the music for that and I'd been sitting around it for a few weeks, and finally I was like, "I'm going to write to it. I know I'm going to write to it."

A lot of times I throw music in the car and just start driving. So on this day before I left town I stopped to get coffee, and Catherine Copeland, she called me when I had already parked my car. She called and said, "Had you heard anything, because I'm not sure it's a hoax, but I just heard that Prince had passed away." I said, "I don't know, I haven't heard anything." But literally within the time she said that, both our phones started blowing up, so we were like, "Something's happened." And that's when I got the news [of] what had happened, and so I just started driving and listening to the song, and those are the words — and that melody on that drive, are what came.

So they were written on the actual day, and it really sums up — it talks about our time together, what we shared. If anybody wants to know anything about my time with Prince you can listen to that song, and it just talks about the winter and things that we spoke about and what he meant to me and what he gave to me and what I gave to him.

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