Prince Collaborator Donna Grantis Shares ‘Diamonds & Dynamite’ Title Track: Premiere


Donna Grantis understandably had the late Prince on her thoughts whereas making her new solo album, Diamonds & Dynamite, whose title monitor is premiering completely beneath.

The guitarist, a Toronto native, performed with Prince as a part of 3RDEYEGIRL and the New Power Generation. She was additionally working with him in a fusion jazz collective that he put aside to focus on his solo piano performances earlier than his loss of life in April 2016. And she was contemplating Prince to supply Diamonds & Dynamite, an eight-track set that takes Grantis again to the improvisational fusion roots she was exploring earlier than becoming a member of the Prince universe.

"This was one thing Prince and I talked about," Grantis tells Billboard. "He requested if he may produce the document, which is fairly loopy for the reason that path of the document general was actually influenced him in so some ways. He launched me to a complete new repertoire of jazz music I wasn't conversant in."

According to Grantis, that might particularly be Miles Davis' fusion work of albums comparable to Bitches Brew, Jack Johnson and On The Corner. "That's the type of music that might be taking part in on (the PA) whereas audiences have been coming in and taking their seats at our reveals," Grantis remembers. At the time she leaned extra towards the music of Billy Cobham and John Scofield, jazz however "a bit of extra out on the busier facet. When it comes right down to it, blues was actually my basis as a participant." But Prince's tutelage opened some new vistas for her.

"What I beloved about it was the improvisation side, which I've all the time gravitated in direction of, and that rock 'n' roll perspective," Grantis says. "We would get into exploring a whole lot of fairly uncommon terrain and even taking some fairly customary songs however taking part in them out loads and taking them to some fairly far-out locations and exploring totally different sounds. I beloved that, and it actually formed the path for his course of so (Prince) was in my thoughts the entire time I used to be making this document."

Diamonds & Dynamite additionally options "Violetta" and "Transformer," a pair of tracks launched as a vinyl single throughout November on HockeyTalkter Records, the vinyl imprint operated by Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready -- who additionally seems on the songs. Grantis met McCready when the members of Pearl Jam attended a 2013 Prince live performance in Seattle, and in May of 2016 the group invited Grantis to hitch them on stage throughout encores at their Toronto reveals. "They're simply actually cool guys, and Mike's one in every of my favourite guitar gamers on the planet," Grantis remembers. "We talked about collaborating and that led to that launch on HockeyTalkter. Mike loves vinyl, as do I, and it simply seems to be lovely, like a chunk of artwork."

Grantis plans to tour in assist of Diamonds & Dynamite and is constant to work on new music for what she hopes will turn out to be a prolific solo catalog. And she, like many others, is curious to see what of her work with Prince is in his vaults and can probably floor sooner or later.

"We recorded a ton -- it was simply a part of our day after day, whether or not we have been recording rehearsals or jams or actual particular preparations of songs," she remembers. "The songs that have been on (2014's) Plectrumelectrum are simply a number of the tunes which can be round. There's materials there; I'm trying ahead to listening to it in some unspecified time in the future."