Around the time I saw Prince live!

The year was 1984 and I was in the 8th grade. The girls in my class were obsessed with Duran Duran—at one class party they bleached my bangs blond so I'd look like Simon Le Bon. The boys were equally obsessed with Prince. Prince's iconic album Purple Rain had just been released and a few of us were lucky enough to see Prince live!

Fast forward 20 years and I'm still a huge fan. I was able to get a glimpse into Prince's secretive life though one of my dear friends Rose Ann Dimalanta (aka Rad). Rad joined Prince's band, the NPG, between 2003-2004. The stories I heard only deepened my intrigue, but also put a human face on the mythos.

Rad (on keys) playing with Prince in 2004

I can't think of another artist who has been a perpetual favorite for most of my life. His music, films, persona, wardrobe—all created a larger-than-life image that endured until the end—and beyond. Over the years I've collected many of his bootlegs and obscure singles. Prince was notorious for releasing mysterious live albums and unreleased tracks anonymously. My collection represents only a fraction of his more than 300 releases, which doesn't include the countless remix and cover albums.

This mix contains some of his hits as well and some rare b-sides and unreleased song versions. I've always loved the electro-funk sound from Prince's earlier music, so I mixed in some other artists that I felt were also inspired by this sound. The cover image is taken from one of Prince's first photoshoots—and I love the shy, ego-free Prince, before he spent a lifetime living in the shadow of his fame.