The Minneapolis sound is a subgenre of funk rock with elements of synth-pop and new wave, that was pioneered by Prince in the late 1970s. Its popularity was given a boost throughout the 1980s, thanks to him and his musical adherents, including The Time, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Morris Day, Vanity 6, Apollonia 6, Ta Mara & the Seen, Sheila E., Jesse Johnson, Brownmark, Mazarati, The Jets, The Family and most of his The Revolution back up band, such as offshoot duo, Wendy & Lisa.
|Cultural origins||Late 1970s, Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.|
Adherents to the style were not necessarily from Minneapolis, despite the subgenre originating from the city. Some artists who came from Minnesota were influenced by Prince's work. Others came from other parts of the U.S. or world, such as Scottish star Sheena Easton; Flint, Michigan's Ready for the World; and Los Angeles, California's Cherrelle.
While the "Minneapolis sound" was a form of funk, it had some distinguishing characteristics:
- Synthesizers generally replaced horns, and were used more as accent than as fill or background.
- The rhythm was often faster and less syncopated than traditional funk, and owed much to new wave music.
- Guitars, while usually played "clean" for rhythm parts, were frequently much louder and more aggressively processed during solos than in most traditional funk.
- The "bottom" of the sound was less bass-heavy than traditional funk; drums and keyboards filled more of the "bottom".
- The drums were more highly processed than in traditional funk.
- Rashad Shabazz, How Minneapolis made Prince. The Conversation, January 27, 2020.