“It wasn’t like a normal bass gig where you have 30 songs: I had to learn 300!” Ida Nielsen talks touring with Prince, and how she tackled her Paisley Park audition

Prince and bassist Ida Nielsen
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Ask Ida Nielsen how she got started on the bass guitar and it’s the usual story – up to a point, anyway. “I grew up in the countryside in Denmark,” she told BP. “I played with a bunch of bands and in 2008 I released my first solo album, Marmalade: a funk album with a lot of bass guitar on it. That brought me a lot of attention, so I started doing a lot of clinics and I started working with TC Electronic. I recorded a lot of videos for them, which went on YouTube around 2010 – and that was how Prince found me.”

Prince, eh? Fans of the great man, and there are millions, will not be surprised to hear that on receiving a phone call from Minneapolis, Nielsen thought it was a prank. “I got a call from his manager, but I couldn’t really hear what she was saying. I did hear her say the name Prince, but I thought it was a joke! She invited me to Paisley Park for a jam and I said ‘Sure!’ I didn’t hear anything for two weeks, so I thought that was it until I finally got another call – and three months later I was on tour with Prince.”

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Joel McIver

Joel McIver was the Editor of Bass Player magazine from 2018 to 2022, having spent six years before that editing Bass Guitar magazine. A journalist with 25 years' experience in the music field, he's also the author of 35 books, a couple of bestsellers among them. He regularly appears on podcasts, radio and TV.