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Sheila E says Prince songs could come out

AAP logoAAP 23/09/2016 Danielle McGrane

Sheila E, Prince's former fiance and musical collaborator, doesn't know if the hundreds of unreleased songs the pair worked on together will ever be released.

The percussionist and musician spent nearly 40 years collaborating with Prince and their work together is among the haul of music that's lain unreleased in Prince's vaults at his compound in Paisley Park.

"I know that there are a couple of hundred songs that him and I had done together, maybe even more than that, that are in there that no one else has heard except for him and I," Sheila E told AAP.

"I've recently been at Paisley again and I walked through every single room and looking at all my stuff in Paisley is hard because my name is on tapes with his."

The big question that hangs over the songs, along with the rumoured thousands of other songs in Prince's vaults, is whether or not they'll ever be released.

Prince, who died in April, seemed aware that the music would probably be released following his death.

"He never wanted it released and then at one point he did mention on a talk show one day ... `I'll never release it but it might get released when I'm long gone'," she said.

Sheila E isn't even sure if she wants the music they worked on together to be released.

"It's going to be hard for me to hear it emotionally because I haven't heard it in a long time and there are many songs I don't even remember," she said.

"But the things that we did, looking at it a couple of weeks ago with my name on these tapes, I got really sad. It was hard to see."

The Grammy-Award winning musician will be in Australia soon for her own tour, which includes a lot of the Purple One's music.

In June at the BET Awards she performed a tribute to Prince, reuniting with his band New Power Generation, who she had played with in the 1980s.

"I didn't want to do it initially, I was very hesitant to say yes," she said.

"It was challenging and it still is."

She will be performing his music during her upcoming shows in Australia in December.

"I've always done music him and I have done together in the show but I've added even more so," she said.

The multi-instrumentalist also recently wrote a tribute song to Prince, Girl Meets Boy, with his godson Mychael Gabriel who is the guitarist in her band. It's the lead single from her eighth album, due out later this year.

"We wrote that about 1am in the morning one night and by 2.30 I was already doing the vocal for the song. It was written very quickly. It just came out because that was how we felt.," she said.

"We're just trying to celebrate who he is."


December 7 - 170 Russell, Melbourne

December 11 - Metro Theatre, Sydney

December 11-13 - Meredith Music Festival, Victoria

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