SIU professor reminisces on working with Prince for a short time

SIU professor reminisces on working with Prince
Published: Apr. 22, 2016 at 10:21 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 22, 2016 at 10:34 PM CDT
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CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - Prince's colleagues and fans continue to mourn the artist who passed away yesterday at his home in Minneapolis at the age of 57.

That includes one professor at SIU, who worked with Prince in a recording studio for a short time as a keyboard programmer.

Todd Herreman teaches audio engineering, music producing and music business at Southern Illinois University.

He said Prince was a genius, and working with him was very special - something he will never forget.

"I think that Prince is viewed, after a 35-year career, as one of the extraordinary musicians and cultural icons of our generation."

In 1986 Todd Herreman had his first major career break, working for Prince.

Just a couple years after he graduated college, he said he was one of only two people with Prince in the recording studio.

It was an intimate group. Herreman was the keyboard programmer helping to make a track sound complete.

"It made it very difficult to work for him, because he worked all the time," Herreman said.

"I joke about it, but I say this gray hair started when I worked for Prince because there's no sleep. He would rehearse with the band for 8 or 10 hours a day and then go to his house and record all night."

After several sleepless nights, Herreman recalls a personal moment that sticks with him to this day.

"He said 'Todd, that's the problem. I can't sleep at night. God hands me a groove, and I can't throw it away,' and it chokes me up when I remember that because he meant it. He really meant it. It doesn't come from him, it comes through him - that it comes from someplace else - and he believed it."

Herreman said he witnessed firsthand Prince's love and dedication to his music.

He believes that contributed to his rise to the top of the charts and his legacy as a music icon.

"We've actually been talking about it for years... [about] how much recording Prince has that we haven't heard... There's a lot."

Herreman said when his pager would go off at 3 in the morning in 20 below weather in Minneapolis, he knew "God was giving Prince the groove."

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