Listen to “Young” and “I Want It That Way” (Backstreet Boys) Here
Following an impressive week at AmericanaFest, which included a poignant performance at the Americana Honors & Awards complete with a heartfelt introduction by friends The War and Treaty, William Prince shares his first Spotify Singles, out today. Prince’s session includes an up-tempo version of “Young” from Stand in the Joy paired with a real surprise, a cover of “I Want It That Way.”
While from vastly different worlds, these two songs are fitting companions. “Young,” is about Prince’s perspective on his 16-year old self. As the song goes: “Nothing is out of our reach / We can be all that we dreamed when we were young.” From this vantage in 2023, in the context of William’s banner year of milestones and achievements, pairing this song with pure pop nostalgia provides a compelling look back with the grace and gratitude that fills the present.
“Young is about all the dreams I had as a young man while driving around my hometown. Dreams of being a musician and sharing my songs with the world. Dreams of love with the right person. I was worried it wouldn’t happen for me,” says Prince. “Turns out, I didn’t have as much to worry about as I thought. I learned over time that dreams can be achieved when we take the time to focus on them. I was so stressed that my life wouldn’t work out, long before I was fully sure of what it was even going to be. ‘Young’ looks back and tells the young man to take a breath and enjoy the ride. I’m sure enjoying it now.”
With this passage of time and the guidance of love, William Prince transforms the Backstreet Boys’ era-defining and enduring hit into a floaty and folky Americana ballad. While keeping the original’s melody line on acoustic guitar, Prince’s version leads with a sturdy piano, lending the cover a sophisticated, expanded feel. Confident and relaxed, Prince’s lone baritone is satisfyingly soothing. In favour of the song’s iconic question, William creates a bridge that feels as fresh as a flower blooming, shifting the tone from uncertain to assured.
Lyrically, “I Want It That Way” is a fitting choice for Prince to adapt, surprisingly reminiscent of his own writing. When Prince suits up to sing a pop song, he relates to the theme so deeply, his conviction could have us believing this song is one we haven’t heard yet. Tinged with popular nostalgia but softened by its warmer, hand-hewn edges, William Prince’s “I Want It That Way” comes from a man who says what he means and means what he says.
“I’m such a Max Martin fan, and though it’s impossible to replicate the sound, you can do your best to replicate the feeling of a great song. ’I Want It That Way’ is a great song,” adds Prince. “Being chosen to have a Spotify Single is a massive compliment and I’m thrilled we got to recreate a song that brings so much joy. This is all about standing in the joy.”
Both new songs were recorded in Winnipeg, Manitoba, produced by Boy Golden and mixed by William Garrett.
Up next, William returns to the road with The War and Treaty before a headline tour of Europe and the UK later this fall. Prince has recently announced his largest tour of Canada to date, with stops in historic and prestigious 2500-capacity theatres across the country. The Stand in the Joy Canadian tour runs February-March, 2024.
CHARLOTTE, NC: Visulite Theatre, Sept 27 w/ The War and Treaty
UTRECHT, NL: Club Nine, Nov 2
AMEN, NL: De Amer, Nov 3
GRONINGEN, NL: Take Root, Nov 4
BERLIN, DE: Fluxbau, Nov 6
STUTTGART, DE: Im Wizemann Studio, Nov 7
FRANKFURT, DE: Nachtleben, Nov 8
MUNICH, DE: Strom, Nov 9
HAMBURG, DE: Kent Club, Nov 11
LONDON, UK: Bush Hall, Nov 14
MANCHESTER, UK: Deaf Institute, Nov 15
BATH, UK: Workman’s Club, Nov 18
GLASGOW, UK: King Tut’s, Nov 19
KITCHENER, ON: Centre in the Square, Feb 6
TORONTO, ON: Massey Hall, Feb 7
KINGSTON, ON: The Grand, Feb 8
OTTAWA, ON: NAC, Feb 9
VICTORIA, BC: McPherson Playhouse, Feb 23
VANCOUVER, BC: Orpheum, Feb 24
KELOWNA, BC: Kelowna Community Theatre, Feb 25
EDMONTON, AB: Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, Feb 26
CALGARY, AB: Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, Feb 27
REGINA, SK: Conexus Arts Centre, Feb 28
SASKATOON, SK: TCU Place, Feb 29
WINNIPEG, MB: Centennial Concert Hall, Mar 2
HALIFAX, NS: Rebecca Cohn Auditorium, Mar 15
SAINT JOHN, NB: Imperial Theatre, Mar 16
MONCTON, NB: Capitol Theatre, Mar 17
CHARLOTTETOWN, PE: Confederation Centre, Mar 18
MONTREAL, QC: TD Studio, Mar 20
QUEBEC, QC: Palais Montcalm, Mar 21
For all upcoming tour dates, tickets and details, please visit williamprincemusic.com