Oklahoma City musician Dustin Prinz was all ready to go with an album-release party Saturday when the worst possible thing that could’ve happened did: He decided the disc needed more songs.
“The album is entitled Eleven, and it was supposed to have 11 songs, but I think it’s going to have 16 now,” Prinz said. “I’ve had more ideas, so I started writing more. I’m trying to have it done by August. That’s my goal to keep the flame under my ass, I guess.”
Originally from Nebraska, Prinz has lived in Oklahoma for four years and quickly built a fan base that has allowed him to become a “full-time professional musician,” playing coffeehouses and clubs, plus providing general atmosphere for restaurants where the audience “isn’t there to see you.”
But he’s gained most of his followers as of late from his YouTube channel, which has racked up more than 3.5 million views. He’s done it by tapping into the most humanly raw emotion of all: heartbreak.
“I always compare my music to Beck and his 2002 album, Sea Change,” Prinz said. “It’s a really, really chill kind of album and I always try to shoot for that: a really ambient, acoustic, orchestrated string-arrangements kind of sound. I’ve definitely had people go, ‘Dude, your music, it’s either going to depress the shit out of me or you’ve got some stuff that’s on the complete opposite side of the spectrum.’ I’ve got some whimsical tunes I like to throw in between the breakup stuff when I’m playing live, just to keep it interesting.”
Although his music routinely has been inspired by a few sour splits of his own, he’s quick to note that he’s “not like a man-whore who’s going around just trying to have really bad relationships just to write about.”
“Eleven covers the denial phase, the anger phase and the acceptance phase of a breakup,” Prinz said. “Some of the songs are kind of funny; others are kind of your typical breakup tunes; and others, they’re just about being grateful for going through the entire experience.”
So while his fans may be displeased that the scheduled album-release party has been postponed, Prinz still has plenty of shows lined up around the metro, including a three-day stint at Jazmo’z Bourbon St. Cafe in early June.
Album or not, Prinz just loves playing for his city.
“I live here because I really like the people. I like Okies,” Prinz said. “The people are incredibly friendly and I always get a good response when I play. It’s enough to keep me here and keep me playing.”