Juno-award winning singer and songwriter William Prince is headed to Rossland.
Prince will play at the Flying Steamshovel on Monday, Dec. 4, making a stop on his Breathless Tour. It will be a chance for new and long-time fans to hear his new songs for the first time.
“I’m getting ready to go into the studio so [the tour] is kind of the perfect way to get a lot of work in and test out the new songs,” he says.
“It’s going to be a lot of new stuff and [I’ll] play some stuff from the record,” Prince adds.
Whereas Prince’s first album, Earthly Days, was inspired by his partner, he says his upcoming album was inspired by his son, who is almost 16 months old.
“The first record was definitely about his mom and just different takes that I’ve had with love and my own personal accounts with love and stuff like that, but this one has become a bit of a confessional — a bit of a diary I should say,” Prince says. “I keep saying confessional, but there’s nothing to confess because I’m not ever hiding anything. It’s just more of a diary and to show, ‘I’ve been away when you were a baby because I’m trying to set up some kind of life for us,’ and a lot of my new songs are directed toward him, but they’re still universal love songs.”
Prince’s first album has earned him recognition and awards in the Canadian music scene.
He was named 2014 Aboriginal Songwriter of the Year at the Aboriginal Peoples Choice Awards and won Aboriginal Artist of the Year and received a nomination for Roots Solo Artist of the Year at the 2016 Western Canadian Music Awards. His single “The Carny” made it to number one on the National Aboriginal Countdown in 2015, and most recently he was nominated for two Juno Awards, claiming the award for Contemporary Roots Album of the Year in April.
“It was really great. I was at the awards with my family and surrounded by all my team that makes all this stuff happen,” Prince says. “And so it felt like I came through, it felt like I delivered in some sense that, you know, you struggle for years to make music and put out a record and I didn’t do it in the hopes of ending up there. I just really wanted a collection of my songs for myself and my family, and it just … got bigger a lot faster than I thought it would.
“And to win was really huge because it was in the contemporary roots category. So to win for a folk album is really great and I was super proud of that, that my family got to see.”
Prince’s dad, who passed away in 2015 before Earthly Days was released, was also a musician and a big influence on Prince’s music.
“My dad was a singer and he put out three records and so that was always kind of the thing I saw was just him singing and playing music, and my mom sang and my sister played and sang, and so we were a musical church family, essentially,” he explains.
Prince’s parents also had a DJ business and provided the music for weddings, socials and other events.
“I just had this really great exposure to all types of music when I was a kid because of that,” he says.
Traditional gospel and Johnny Cash were big influences for Prince.
Since releasing Earthly Ways in December of 2015, Prince, who is a member of the Pegius First Nation, has also released the single “7,” which he wrote as a graduation song for the Pegius First Nation class of 2016.
The song is based on the seven sacred teachings: love, respect, courage, honesty, wisdom, humility and truth.
“They asked me for the next graduating class to … write a song just for them and it had to be upbeat and celebratory and kind of the opposite of what I do,” says Prince. “So it was a nice challenge to give back and I was honoured to be a big part of the community. I MCed the grad and then we played the song and they walked down the aisle to get their diplomas.… It was real.”
Tickets to Prince’s Rossland show are $10 and are available at the Flying Steamshovel or at ticketweb.ca/event/william-prince-w-justin-lacroix-the-flying-steamshovel-tickets/7696245.
Prince’s music can be found at soundcloud.com/william-prince-music.