Sananda Maitreya – the artist formerly known as Terence Trent D’Arby – wrote a Prince tribute song for his latest album.

The three-minute piano track, which can be heard below, is titled simply “Prince!” It’s the 28th and final number on the double LP Pandora’s PlayHouse, released last week.

Maitreya, who knew and worked with Prince, abandoned his stage name as part of a self-reconstruction program after suffering a breakdown – but his admiration for Prince was one aspect of his earlier life that he carried through, and he’s continued to refer to him as a spiritual relative.

“I wanted to write something simple and heartfelt to honor the wonderful life of my friend and mentor, Prince,” he said of the song in the album sleeve notes. “He was like the big brother you dream of having. The one who went before you and made it easier for you to be yourself. He was the idol that proved. Other idols were shady.” He added: “Astral twins are usually born within four years of the other. And more than anyone, I always felt that Maestro Prince Rogers Nelson and I were fathered by the same spirit. And we are still catching up to the genius of his musical legacy and stunning musicianship. We are lucky to have had him. He is the godfather to one of my children so he remains a part of my family. I miss him and dedicate this song to his memory.”

As a teenager, Maitreya found that Prince's broad spectrum of work deeply resonated with him.

"I remember him when he first came along, when I was in high school," Maitreya said to Record Collector Magazine. "As a mixed race person who was influenced by -- if I could be so crass as to cut to the chase -- white music, Prince's influence on me was to show you didn't have to make a choice between James Brown and the Rolling Stones, or the Beatles and Sam Cooke. You could accept all of them and move into the space where you could inhabit it all."

"Prince and I were were very close and, when he was alive in this realm, we had a telepathic relationship," he said. "If one of us was thinking about the other and sending them energy, the other would get an intuition it was time to make a call."

Soon after Prince’s death in 2016, Maitreya told the New Statesman that he’d always tried hard not to “gush” when he was in his mentor’s company, “We did a record together in the early ‘90s but fell out because of a dispute over my use of an eleventh chord,” he said. “The last time he reached out to me … I brushed him off. I was annoyed about some lame shit at the time and didn’t want him getting into my head with any of his hypnotic logic.” He insisted he didn’t regret losing contact in life, explaining: “[W]hether he is living or dead, or hovering in the various states in between, I am always in communication with him. He did not go anywhere: he just wised up finally, sensibly, and left us trifling bitches behind.”

Sananda Maitreya - ‘Prince’


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