niallon – Purple Rain

I really love requests. It’s not just because I struggle massively to think of songs to cover, but if someone has asked me to perform a song I tend to double down my prep and interpretation to make the request worthwhile.

This did however work against me in this instance. I’ve been familiar with this song since the first time I picked up a guitar. Granted I never learned the guitar lines properly in all that time, but even if you’re not specifically a Prince fan like I am, there’s no denying the legacy of this track. So when covering it, even before it was requested, I struggled a lot to put my own stamp on it.

My attitude is always that I never want to just do a carbon copy cover. Whilst this means each and every song is open to interpretation, there are a few rules I set for myself. If the original is a loud rock song I’ll try turn it into a soft and quiet ballad. If the original is hard and loud I’ll usually try turn it into a soft air. The problem with Purple Rain is that the guitar outro is nearly a song unto itself and the only concept I could seem to come up with was to drop it entirely.

Whilst this was never really a viable option, for a while it seemed the only one. It was only through sheer frustration during one particular take that I started to hum along and that turned into what you hear on the final recording. In all it was a really fun challenge to record a song that I knew like the back of my hand, yet encountered some struggles with the finished product, so keep the requests coming. As always, watch, like, share, subscribe!

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niallhetherington

Bachelors Degree in Arts from NUI Maynooth. Double Honours English & Philosophy.

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