No Phones & No Profanity: An Exclusive Look Inside Prince's Melb Afterparty

19 February 2016 | 11:13 am | Neil Griffiths

"He just lifted the rope and started dancing, like, in the middle of everyone."

Prince. Pic by Nancy McClean

Prince. Pic by Nancy McClean

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His afterparties are renowned for being some of the most exclusive and best-kept-secret functions in the industry and it was no different on Wednesday night as music legend Prince celebrated at Melbourne's Aria Bar & Events, however in an exclusive chat with The Music, the DJ who performed on the night reveals exactly what went down at the party.

Popular Melbourne DJ Ken Walker received a call at around 4pm on Wednesday informing him of the exclusive gig which required him to play "100% funk music, but all on vinyl."

Walker says that strictly 120 people were allowed in the venue that fits 500, with new patrons only allowed in as others left and that no one was to have their phone out at any time during the night.

"...There was easily, like, 400 people outside the venue waiting until 3am to get in," Walker reveals. 

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"It's funny because last time he toured here, the afterparty was at Bennetts Lane and they had about 400 people there thinking he was going to go there again."

While the afterparty kicked off at 11pm, the 57-year-old artist didn't arrive until around 1.30am.

"He had sort of, like, a roped-off area with some food and everything, bottles of Cristal," Walker recalls.

"And then he was interacting with some people who of course wanted to talk to him."

Prince surprised not only Walker, but everyone in attendance when he stepped out from his VIP area to dance with his fans.

"We dropped Rufus and Chaka Khan’s Do You Love What You Feel and he got on the dance floor and danced with everyone," Walker says.

"His minder said that he never does that. Ever. He just lifted the rope and started dancing, like, in the middle of everyone."

Ken Walker's vinyls stacked & ready to go. All pics via Ken Walker

Many fans who attended Prince's Melbourne shows on Tuesday night suggested that he was "distraught" after hearing news of the death of Vanity; Prince's protege and lead singer of '80s girls group Vanity 6, however Walker says he was in high spirits throughout the entire afterparty.

"When I had my mind set up about what I was going to play, I was like, this dude wants to hear the real shit, he doesn’t want any like, Top 40, he just wants the real underground shit," Walker explains.

"I put on this really rare groove, Chuck Brown & The Soul Searchers’ Bustin Loose and then he turned around at me and gave me the nod.

"I dropped this track by a ‘60s soul band called The Chi-Lites called Bottom’s Up and then he sent the minder up who said, 'What’s this track that’s playing?' He went back and whispered it into Prince’s ear and Prince got his phone out and put down what it was in his phone, so that was great."

The only time throughout the night that Walker received anything but positive feedback from Prince's camp came when he dropped one of the man-of-the-moment's own hits, Head, which Walker was quickly asked to turn off.

"He gave a requirement that he didn’t want any tracks played with any profanity in it, so I knew that before the gig started and then I was thinking, which track of his do I want to play and that was one of my favourite tracks of his," he says.

"...And then he sent his minder up who said, ‘Take it off’."

If it wasn't already a career-marking moment for Walker, it was capped off when Prince sent a 2007 vintage bottle of Cristal to him and fellow DJ, Eddie Mac as a gift.

Walker's nifty little present from Prince

And in true Prince fashion, almost as if Dave Chappelle wrote it himself, the Grammy Award-winning musician exited the venue in unique style at around 3.30am.

Picking up one of the many fruit platters being served at the venue, Prince offered food to another DJ at the venue.

"He said, 'Would you like some fruit?'," Walker laughs.

"And then he handed her the platter and left."

Prince's next stop of the Piano & A Microphone is in Sydney this weekend. For more details, head to theGuide.

To hear more of Walker's work, check out his Facebook page or listen to his radio show which airs on KISSFM in Melbourne, as well as the US and Europe.