Prince is finally warming up to the internet. After years spent scrubbing nearly every shred of sound he’s created from platforms like YouTube and denying licenses to streaming services (and pulling his catalog from services excluding Tidal in early July), the legend is making Tidal the exclusive home to his upcoming record HITNRUN, to be released Sep. 7.
“After one meeting, it was obvious that Jay Z and the team he has assembled at TIDAL recognize and applaud the effort that real musicians put in2 their craft 2 achieve the very best they can at this pivotal time in the music industry,” Prince said in a statement. “TIDAL have honored Us with a non-restrictive arrangement that once again allows Us to continue making art in the fashion We’ve grown accustomed 2 and We’re Extremely grateful 4 their generous support.”
(It’s worth nothing here that Prince dropped a single last week on Spotify. Why? You’ll have to ask him.)
“Both Prince and Tidal share the belief that all creatives should have the opportunity to speak directly to those that love and support them,” said Jay Z in a statement. “This partnership with Prince represents TIDAL’s philosophy in its truest form, a 1 to 1 connection and direct delivery of artistry to the world.”
Whether Tidal will remain the exclusive home to HITNRUN — or any other music — for very long remains to be seen. Since the moment it launched via a monumentally awkward press conference the company has been dogged by poor press and a lukewarm public reception. Various stakeholders have done their best to contain the damage — a week-and-a-half ago Madonna told the Associated Press that “it’s just the beginning, so we’re working out a lot of kinks and hopefully we’re going to build something unique and amazing that’s going to attract a lot of people.” The obvious implication being: there are kinks, and a lot of people haven’t been attracted to the service just yet.
Additionally, four days ago the company underwent its most recent executive shakeup, losing svp of artist and label relations Zena Burns two months after the company’s interim CEO, Peter Tonstad, was removed.
None of that matters to Prince, of course. The living legend has long prized freedom over business (he did spend seven years as a language-less symbol in order to get out of a contract, after all), and will continue to do whatever he damn well pleases.