MUSIC 2021

Nero Nava and the Prince Inspiration

"Is this art? It must be, no one seems to like it.”

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Director and composer Nero Nava told us about his love for a Prince classic: Parade.

Nero Nava: Parade is the epicenter of my taste. My greasy hair, my love for dance music, my love for black and white films, bad jokes, wordplay, innuendo, cheap come-ons — all from Parade.  My favorite and most formative record of all time is Prince’s soundtrack to his much-maligned second film Under The Cherry Moon. The movie and soundtrack share all the same characteristics — electric, eccentric, odd, time-stamped, yet old-fashioned, camp, loose, and carefully crafted all at once. Imagine Nagel models parading around a Billy Wilder or Fellini film. That’s what this album/movie sounds/looks like. A vibe something like flirting with Jeanne Moreau lookalikes (“Vous êtes très belle, mama”), begging for a kiss.

That’s where I want to live. Who I want to be. And, I’ve been on that hunt since I heard it.

Purple Rain

After seeing Purple Rain several times in the theater as a kid, my Prince fanatic mom took me to see UTCM. I was expecting a crowded theater, people dancing in the aisles (like Purple Rain).  But, sadly, my mother and I were alone in this dank San Francisco theater. I remember thinking, “but the music is so good, the movie is so good. Is this art? It must be, no one seems to like it.”

Parade’s lush, and bionic sound would mesmerize me for hours. I’d stare down at my beat-up record as it spun on my Fisher-Price player, and I’d wonder, “is this what France sounds like? Or maybe Miami?” This record took me places, and still takes me away to a place of wonder, to beautiful black and white, and a time where I was learning about what I love and what I like. I’ve reached the point where I know that everything I enjoy in music and art has some resemblance to this record (and movie). Truly, “Life is a parade.”  ❖

Nero Nava’s movie and soundtrack Privacy are out now.

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