The entire nation was shocked upon hearing the news that Prince passed away at the age of 57 in his home outside of Minneapolis, Minnesota.  As we collectively mourn the loss of one of the greatest musicians in the world, we also must recognize the beauty that he bestowed upon us.  Prince maintained a solid presence in the music industry for over 40 years, and his music transcended genres and generations.  He effortlessly pushed the boundaries of every social category that exists; gender norms, race,  sexuality, and he normalized the concept of “different.”  The prolific singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer,  arranger, humanitarian, and activist was a genius in every sense of the word, and It would be difficult to imagine what music and our culture would be like today if Prince never graced us with his powerful presence.

[bctt tweet=”“If I can’t do what I want,what am I? When you stop a man from dreaming, he becomes a slave” – Prince” username=”HBR_Media”]

There will never be another musician or celebrity like him, which is a testament to how he changed the world during his lifetime.  He stripped himself of his name entirely, and became known as “The Artist Formerly Known As Prince” during a dispute over his record contract at Warner Brothers in an effort to “emancipate” himself  from being “owned” by a record company, and frequently appeared in public and onstage with the word “slave” written on his cheek.  He refused to do anything that would compromise his vision and shackle his creative spirit.  He was a prodigy, and the most talented singer, guitarist, pianist, and producer on the planet.

[bctt tweet=”If you don’t own your masters, your master will own you. – Prince” username=”HBR_Media”]

Few were lucky or deemed talented enough to work with someone as brilliant and iconic as Prince; however, filmmaker Sanaa Hamri (Empire, Grey’s Anatomy, Desperate Housewives) was one of the few.  Hamri has worked with artists such as Mariah Carey, Jadakiss, Sting, Common, Eminem, Dr. Dre, and was called by Prince to direct classic videos such as:  Call My Name, Musicology, Fury, Guitar, FixUrLifeUp, and Black Sweat.

Hamri currently serves as one of the executive producers on the hit series Empire, where she is the glue that holds the writers room, the music producers, actors, and performers together and keeps everyone on the same page musically.  Every song, performance, concert, and studio session that is seen on the show is meticulously hand crafted by Hamri.

Prior to utilizing her musical expertise on Empire, Hamri traveled from the town of Tangier, Morocco to pursue her dreams as an actress.  After endless auditions, she started working at a post production company, and taught herself how to edit while assisting cinematographer Malik Sayeed.  This newfound skill set created the foundation that allowed her to become a go-to music-video editor and director.  After directing music videos for some of the best musicians of our generation, Hamri then went on to direct her first feature film titled Something New alongside producer Stephanie Allain starring Sanaa Lathan,The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 and Just Write alongside producer Debra Martin Chase starring Queen Latifah.
[bctt tweet=”“Always keep your aspirations in mind, no matter how lofty they may seem.” – Sanaa Hamri” username=”HBR_Media”]

All great people have the ability to see greatness in others, and Prince saw greatness in many including Sanaa Hamri.  The fact that Prince’s death proves that he is not immortal is still unbelievable, and he will sorely be missed by the world.  Thankfully, we cherished and honored his legacy while he was still with us, and will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the greatest musicians who ever lived.

 Rest in Power Prince.

 

 

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About The Author

Founder, HBR Media

K. Nicole Mills is the Founder of HBR Media. She transitioned from Wall Street to television and film development, and has worked at NBCUniversal, Universal Pictures, and Showtime Networks. She currently develops digital programming for premium networks. Reach out anytime! info@hbrmedia.org

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