by Sean McPherson
This week Andrea Swensson shared her Purple Hour with Taja Sevelle. If you aren’t familiar with Taja, she is a renaissance woman who has flourished in many careers. For those who go deep into Minneapolis history, you might remember her from the airwaves of KMOJ. She also made huge waves in the mid-1980s when she was signed to Paisley Park and worked closely with Prince on her self-titled debut album.
Continue reading “The Purple Current interviews Taja Sevelle”
Taja Sevelle: Contagious Love
by Miles Marshall Lewis
1987 saw the release of two Madhouse albums, the greatest Prince album of all time, the greatest protégé record of Paisley Park Records’ brief history, and a third Sheila E. album. The last of Prince’s earliest signings (circa 1984) also finally made her debut in September 1987: 25-year-old Taja Sevelle.
As a teenager, Sevelle (born Nancy Richardson) sang in Manhattan Transfer-like jazz bands around Minneapolis and deejayed at local volunteer radio station KMOJ. Aware of her reputation, Prince approached her at First Avenue and asked for a demo; he initially wanted her to front another girl group. Soon she was cast as an extra in Purple Rain and signed to the soon-to-be-launched Paisley Park Records as a solo act. Recorded in Hollywood as a close collaboration with her eventual fiancé, newbie producer Chico Bennett, Taja Sevelle aimed squarely at a pop crossover audience. Like Jill Jones a season earlier, the album commercially missed the target, never cracking the Billboard albums chart. (Both found one-hit-wonder success in Europe with their lead singles though—“Mia Bocca” and “Love Is Contagious.”)
Continue reading “Paisley Diaries Volume 4 – Taja Sevelle”
On June 7th, @TIDAL starts streaming never-before-heard Prince music from the CD titled “Originals.” You will hear the original demo of Wouldn’t You Love to Love Me?” that Prince gave to me for my debut, self-titled CD.