Following Prince’s death in 2016, Tyka Nelson, the musician’s younger sister, has been tasked with helping preserve the Purple One’s legacy. She shares one-sixth of Prince’s estate, with thousands of unreleased songs reportedly stowed away in Prince’s vault. Fans have eagerly demanded a taste of what the artist never got the chance to release on his own. Tyka, along with others who Prince trusted with his most prized collection, has spent the last four years uncovering and preserving treasures that only an artist as transcending as Prince could create. For Tyka, it’s an opportunity to fulfill her brother’s wishes, which he shared with her three years before his passing. “I won’t get off this planet until he gets every single solitary thing he worked so hard for and preserved for all of the world.”
This week, the estate announced the upcoming release of Welcome 2 America, an album Prince recorded in 2010 but never released. It’s just one example of how much of his music the world has still never heard. Prince was notably skeptical of the music industry’s benevolence and, in a prescient move, fought to wrestle back ownership of all of his masters. Now, as his legacy lives on, the careful work of preserving these creations unfolds.