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How I Joined Prince's Band 3RDEYEGIRL

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Friday February 09, 2018

From Cosmopolitan

Get That Life: How I Joined Prince’s Band 3RDEYEGIRL
By: Heather Wood Rudulph

Growing up outside of Toronto in Mississauga, Ontario, Donna Grantis fell in love with classic rock. She had an electric guitar in her hands by age 14 and an unwavering career dream of being an independent musician. Today she plays guitar in 3RDEYEGIRL, a rock band of all female musicians led by Prince, one of the greatest guitarists in the world. Grantis shares how her pursuit of musical perfection, never saying no to a gig, and leveraging social media helped her land her never-in-her-wildest-dreams job.

[…] In November 2012, I received an email from Joshua Welton, who co-produced Prince’s album Art Official Age. His wife, Hannah Ford Welton, was working as a drummer with Prince and would become the 3RDEYEGIRL drummer. They came across my videos, and there was one in particular that caught their eye. I played a song called “Stratus” by Billy Cobham. Prince sometimes plays that song on tour. They also came across a song I had written for the Electric Band called “Elektra.” Prince would eventually rearrange this song as the title track to 3RDEYEGIRL’s album, PLECTRUMELECTRUM.

The email said something like, “Hi, we’re wondering if you’d be interested in coming to Paisley Park to jam with Prince and the band? Please let us know.” I didn’t know if it was real ‘” you get some weird emails, right? Then I got a phone call, and they gave me a list of six to seven songs to learn. Within a week they sent me a one-way ticket to Minneapolis. Nobody knew how long I would be there.

People always asked me, “If you could play with anyone in the world, who would it be?” My answer was always Prince. I knew what a big moment this was for me. But I couldn’t get too excited. I put all my energy into learning the songs and nailing it when I got there. Any sort of distraction of thinking, Oh my gosh, this is crazy! would just take away from focusing on what’s most important: the music.

Thriving as a musician is hard work. It’s a balance of getting from gig to gig and working toward bigger goals. You can’t take no for an answer. It’s different than what you see on reality shows when kids break down after being rejected. You have to make it happen on your own – book your own shows, promote them, get it done. And it’s essential to absolutely enjoy every second of every day that you get to pursue your passion.

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