Unreserved

William Prince plays live, talks Neil Young, Nashville and being inspired by his son

From Juno awards to BBC airplay and dates opening for Neil Young, William Prince has had a busy couple of years. Back in his current hometown of Winnipeg, Prince played to a sold out crowd at the West End Cultural Centre in late November — and Unreserved was there to catch it all.
William Prince sat down with Rosanna Deerchild to talk about his roots in Peguis First Nation, how his dad instilled a love of music and why his son is his biggest inspiration. (Glassnote Records )
Listen to the full episode1:09:19

Originally published on Dec. 16, 2018.

From Juno awards to BBC airplay and dates opening for Neil Young, William Prince has had a busy couple of years.

Back in his current hometown of Winnipeg, Prince played to a sold-out crowd at the West End Cultural Centre in late November — and Unreserved was there to catch it all.

This week on the show, Prince sits down with Rosanna Deerchild to talk about his roots in Peguis First Nation, how his dad instilled a love of music and why his son is his biggest inspiration.

You'll also hear highlights from the show, including some brand new songs recorded live for the first time from the stage.  

"It's nice to experience them live for the first time here," Prince said. "You gotta start playing them sometime. They can be this shiny ship in a bottle in the privacy of your home and your iPhone, but eventually you've got to see what they're worth out there to people. And the reaction was really great, so I'm glad we recorded most of them that are going to be on the new record."

From Buffy Sainte-Marie to Neil Young

Prince recalled getting a surprising phone call while heading out to open for Buffy Sainte-Marie at Harrison Hot Springs, B.C.

"I got the call that six days from now we need you in Boston to go open these two shows. I've never seen Neil Young perform live except for on the internet. So for my first time to be 20 feet from him, side stage, watching the show unfold ... getting to hang out during soundcheck," Prince said.

"Even though people are beyond excited and yelling out classic requests and stuff, he just still does his own show every single night. "

Growing up surrounded by music

Prince has spoken about growing up hearing all kinds of music. His parents ran a DJ service and they often took him along to dances in old community halls.

"I just thought it was this really cool thing, but as you become an adult you learn ... that was a means of extra income to pay bills when we were a young family."

On finding inspiration in his son 

"I often say now that I'm just biding my time while my son grows up. Right now, he is my legacy. My son is everything; he is the sun and the moon," Prince said.

"I hope I forever get to record music; that's always been the dream. I want to make albums, I want to be one of the Bruce Cockburns, one of the Leonard Cohens, one of the Neil Youngs, the Kristoffersons. Find my way, happiness from this thing that I love the most, that's all you could really ask for."