At the Hop (Farm) with Prince

At the Hop (Farm) with Prince – thanks to Stewart Rogers!/TheRealSJR

As you know, I normally post on business and personal development, mixed with music, but I simply could not resist this short post on the Hop Farm and Prince’s superb concert there on Sunday night, just for the music. There are not enough superlatives that can describe his performance, which spanned songs such as Let’s Go Crazy, 1999, Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough, U Got The Look, Nothing Compares 2 U, Controversy and Play That Funky Music amongst many others, over a two and a quarter hour set that put all other performances into the shade.As well as a truly fantastic performance, we were ‘taught’ many other things by Prince with transferable value to business and personal life. Here’s a few of them:

Prince on differentiation – Without being pompous, Prince pointed out that his band offered ‘real music’ by ‘real musicians’ – quite a contrast to some of the other x-factor hopefuls and so on. In marketing, we know that you need a ‘unique selling point’ and Prince denominated his ‘difference’ clearly and simply in ways that everyone understood. At 53 years old, Prince proved he could still ‘do the do’, making others half his age look like quivering geriatrics.

Prince on playfulness – When he announced ‘Nothin’ Compares 2 U’ Prince said “I didn’t write that song. That’s Sinead O’Connor’s song”. Later on, he pointed out “I bought a house with that song” to the great enjoyment of the crowd. Playfulness is a vital ingredient if you are to encourage creativity in yourself and others.

Prince on emotional intelligence – There had been quite a few sound problems with other acts during the day. So, instead of coming on and belting out a big hit to start with, Prince came on and played a funk workout to set the sound levels and get things right for the rest of the show – calling off the different musicians to come in and out of the performance to get a perfect mix. This is a big risk to take – effectively starting your show with a jam rather than a crowd pleaser. Read all about Prince’s approach to improvisation at Symbols, Signs and Sex and the new book “The Music of Business“, acclaimed by Harvey Goldsmith.

The Purple genius in Red – picture courtesy of Stewart Rogers!/TheRealSJR

So a big thank you to Vince Power and the people at the Hop Farm. I never thought I’d get to see Prince on my doorstep but last night all my dreams came true.  I explore more of Prince’s personal qualities and the relationship with becoming an agile, ingenious and innovative company within the book “Sex, Leadership and Rock‘n’Roll” and the new one “The Music of Business“, acclaimed by Harvey Goldsmith.