You’ve probably heard by now that Prince plans to release three new albums in 2009, as told to New York Times music critic Ann Powers last week, but who, you might be wondering, is Bria Valente, the woman who will provide lead vocals for Elixir? Wellll, she’s the latest in a long of Prince protégés that includes the likes of Apollonia, Sheena Easton, Sheila E, Ingrid Chavez and Marvin Gaye’s daughter Nona Gaye. Born Brenda Fuentes, she’s a former model / dancer from Minneapolis who has been working with Prince since late 2006 and used to do backing vocals for Usher.
So far we’ve heard two songs from Valente, whose voice Ann Powers describes as “buttery”: ‘Here I Come’ and ‘Another Boy’. The former is yet another candidate for those perennial rock mag lists of “best songs about female masturbation”, and has apparently been renamed ‘Here Eye Come’ – if you go to the purple one’s new site www.lotusflow3r.com, you can hear it there. Prince’s trademark sound is all over it, with beats provided by Morris Hayes. Our favourite bit: “Electric rush inside me is going crazy / I gotta find a way to make it stop / if I don’t I’m gonna pop / like a cork on a bottle of Chardonnay.”
“We got sick of waiting for Sade to make a new album,” Prince told Ms Powers. “This music is nasty, but it’s not dirty,” he added when quizzed about the sexual lyrics. “There’s no profanity. It isn’t promoting promiscuity. She’s singing about her lover, who could be her partner for life.”
Tweet and Janet Jackson must be quaking in their stilettos.