Prince was introduced to me by my sister right at the moment when puberty began to work its magic on me. With hormones a-raging, I was immediately transfixed by this ultra-sexual, androgynous, other-worldly creature’s equally alien and ambiguous music, message, and indeed his entire aesthetic. He was so confident, so self-assured, so astoundingly talented, so… weird. He taught me that it was cool to be different, cool to express myself with my clothes and my hair, cool to be… weird.
It was exactly what I, as a skinny, awkward pubescent boy who always felt different, needed – a hero that I could relate to and aspire to be like. I wasn’t a musician, but I was always an artist, and Prince’s musical virtuosity has always inspired me to be the best I can be at whatever I choose to do artistically. His eclecticism showed me that I didn’t have to stick to one thing, one style, one type of art – that it was ok to explore as many ideas and ways of expressing myself as I saw fit. And I do. He’s been the single biggest influence on my life and work.
Troy Gua was born and raised in Seattle. He grew up with Ronald McDonald and Ronald Reagan, King Tut and the King of Pop; images and icons that have been burned into his subconscious. Media culture has shaped his life, and is a vital component of his creative process.