Gloria Prince is a triple-threat, possessing vocal, acting and dancing skills. As her main influences, she mentions Beyoncé, Stacie Orrico, JoJo, Janet Jackson, and Brandy. Their sound inspired her so much that she released Throwback R&B Mixtape Vol. 1 recently.
“At the time, I was in a place in my life where having original music was at a stand still and I wanted to put out a new project. So I was researching on other artist and notice a lot of them did mixtape covers! The late 90s and early 2000s has always been my favorite era of music so with that being in mind, I decided to do covers from that era that would never go out of style”, she says about the latest project.
When asked about what she misses the most about 90s and early 2000s era, she answers: “I believe what makes that era so significant was the the production, the creativity, the passion, and the writing. It was created in a way where if you were having a bad day, you could simply turn on the radio, a TV, any media outlet and be placed in a time machine.
That era had a hypnosis vibe to it and could remind you of your first heartbreak and your first love. Something that was so intangible could change your whole mood just like falling in love”.
Recording covers can be a big challenge. It seems like it’s a really good move for all kinds of talent shows, but could also be a trap for unknown artists. “I usually try not to think about any negative backlash when it comes to putting out music. I feel like it can mess with the creative process and cause a lot of anxiety”, says Gloria.
Looking at Aaliyah’s fan base who is very powerful, but also sensitive about their idol and everything that’s going on with her legacy – for example they blew up that Lifetime biopic and its co-producer Wendy Williams – it seems like recording a cover of one of Aaliyah’s songs was a very brave move from Gloria.
“When I was picking my tracklist, Aaliyah was the number one person who came to mind. She was a music vessel in her time and impacted so many people. At the time, I wanted to give a variety of vibes, like fast, mid tempo and slow. I thought of ‘Are You That Somebody’ which is pretty upbeat and could give the tape a great intro”.
Gloria has the quiet, unassuming demeanor of the ‘girl next door’, but she’s taking every chance life gives her. She got an opportunity to share a stage with no one other than hip-hop legend Snoop Dogg. “Honestly, when I heard I was going to open up for Snoop Dogg and be in the same building with him, at the celebrity basketball game, it really didn’t hit me until it was my time to perform!
It was so much chaos and every media company, and some celebrities, weren’t even paying attention to any of the artist performing including myself. When it was my time to perform though, out the corner of my eye, I seen Snoop just standing there bobbing his head to my performance.
So I saw the opportunity to go over where he was and just dance with him! It was super epic and after my performance he told me great job on the national anthem and the half time show and he was just super cool!”, she reminisces.
When Gloria is not in a studio or on the stage, she donates her time and talents as a humanitarian. When I asked about an interview she was already in Africa doing some charity work. “So I’ve been blessed to travel with an organization called Reaction Tour for the past four years. We travel to Uganda, which is about a 22 hour flight, and spend a week with kids who come from less fortunate homes.
These kids get a pair of shoes for their sport, special gifts for non-sports, a t-shirt, three meals a day and attend two church services. I’ve been blessed to be the leader of the dance department and teach kids who have a passion for hip hop and share my story and be a blessing to others”, she explains.
Gloria truly believes that with hard work, anyone can achieve their dreams. She started the social media movement #GlorieGang, and is continuing to work on music. “I’m in the process of finishing my EP Road to Glorie, my second throwback mixtape with features, new singles, music videos, a possible tour, and merchandise! It’s going to be a very prosperous year!”, she reveals her future plans.
Words by Julia Borowczyk