Levi Seacer, Jr.

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Levi Seacer, Jr


Artist details

Birth Name: Levi Seacer, Jr
Date Of Birth: 30 April 1961: Richmond, CA, USA
Occupation: Guitar player, Bass player, Producer, Songwriter.
Activity with Prince: From 1987 to 1993
Live Performances
First live appearance w/Prince:
Performed regularly on tour:
Performed occasionally in shows:
With Prince:
  • Singles:
1989: The Scandalous Sex Suite (non-album track : Sex)
1990: New Power Generation
1991: Gett Off
1991: Cream
1992: Money Don’t Matter 2 Night
1992: Willing And Able
1992: Sexy M.F.
1992: Damn U
1992: The Morning Papers
1993: Nothing Compares 2 U
1999: Extraordinary
1999: The Rest Of My Life
1999: 5 Women
1999: It’s About That Walk
  • Albums:
1990: Lovesexy
1990: Graffiti Bridge
1991: Diamonds And Pearls
1992: Symbolblue.png
1999: The Vault... Old Friends 4 Sale
With Prince’s Associates:
  • Singles:
1987: Sheila E. - Love On A Blue Train
1987: Sheila E. - Koo Koo on the non-album track “Paradise Gardens”
1987: Madhouse - 10
1987: Madhouse - 13
1989: Brownmark- Bang Bang
1990: Kid Creole And The Coconuts- The Sex Of It
1990: Elisa Fiorillo - On The Way Up
1990: Elisa Fiorillo - Oooh This I Need
1991: The Time - Shake!
1992: Martika - Spirit
1992: Ingrid Chavez - Heaven Must Be Near
1993: Carmen Electra - Everybody Get On Up
1993: Monie Love - Born 2 B.R.E.E.D.
1993: Jevetta Steele - Hold Me
1993: Mavis Staples - The Voice
1993: Mavis Staples - Blood Is Thicker Than Time
1993: Margie Cox - Standing At The Altar
1995: Rosie Gaines - I Want U
  • Albums:
1987: Sheila E. - Sheila E.
1987: Madhouse - 16
1989: Mavis Staples - Time Waits For No One
1989: Brownmark - Good Feeling
1989: Kahoru Kohiruimaki - Time The Motion
1990: Kid Creole And The Coconuts - Private Waters In The Great Divide
1990: Elisa Fiorillo - I Am
1991: Eric Leeds - Times Squared
1991: Jevetta Steele - Here It Is (1991 French release)
1991: T.C. Ellis - True Confessions
1991: Martika - Martika’s Kitchen
1991: Ingrid Chavez - Ingrid Chavez
1993: Jevetta Steele - Here It Is (1993 Worlwide release)
1993: Carmen Electra - Carmen Electra
1993: Louie Louie - Let’s Get Started
1993: Monie Love - In A Word Or 2
1993: The Steeles - Heaven Help Us All
1993: Mavis Staples - The Voice
1993: The NPG - Gold Nigga
1994: Various artists - 1-800 New Funk
1995: Rosie Gaines - Closer Than Close
1995: Mayte - Child Of The Sun
2009: Rosie Gaines - Concrete Jungle
Self Productions with Prince:
  • Singles: None
  • Albums: None

Levi Seacer, Jr. is an American musician, songwriter and producer. He joined Prince’s band, initially on bass, in 1987 after playing guitar with Sheila E. in 1986.

He was a member of the The 87-89 Band, the 'pre-NPG in 1990 (on bass) and the original line-up of The New Power Generation formed in 1991 as guitarist.

Apart from being a band member Seacer also collaborated in the studio with Prince co-writing songs and co-producing records for associated artists. He played a significant role on the records released by Paisley Park Records in the 90’s and was appointed President of NPG Records.

He continued to write and produce after leaving Prince’s camp. In the 2010’s he became the guitarist of the bands touring with Shalamar and Tony! Toni! Toné!.

Musical Career
Early Life

Originally from Richmond, California, Levi started playing guitar, bass and other instruments at the age of six in his grandmother’s church. He met Sheila E. in his teens and together they played in clubs in and around the Bay Area.

Early Musical Career

When Sheila E. was signed by Prince, Levi did not initially join her band but instead went to play with Curtis Ohlson’s band and met Don Cornelius. Together, they worked on Rosie Gaines' first album, Caring in 1985. (Gaines was also in Curtis Ohlson’s band.

Work With Prince

In 1985, Following the Purple Rain Tour, where Sheila E. was the support act, Levi joined her band replacing Benny Rietveld. His earliest (known) recording with Prince occurred later that year when he was invited to jam with Sheila E. and Eric Leeds at Sunset Sound. These sessions would yield the unreleased album, which was tentatively planned to be released under the name The Flesh, a forerunner to Madhouse, a band in which Levi would play a role in the studio (for the second album 16) and more prominently on stage.

Before the Japanese leg of the Parade Tour, Sheila E.’s live band is reconstructed, following her own Romance 1600 Tour. She added her childhood friend Boni Boyer on keyboards and future members of Tony! Toni! Toné! (Timothy Riley on drums, Rafael Wiggins, Jr on bass and Carl Wheeler on keyboards). Levi became the musical director and the band’s guitarist. Along with Prince and David Z., they all contributed to Sheila E’s Sheila E.’s third album which would be released the following year (with Levi co-writing three of the songs).

Joining Prince’s band

After the Parade Tour, Sheila E., Boni Boyer and Levi Seacer, Jr joined Prince’s group after the disbanding of The Revolution. At that same time Levi is also the bassist of the live line-up of Madhouse, together with Eric Leeds and Dr Fink. After the Sign O’ The Times Tour, Levi, Sheila E., Eric Leeds and Prince recorded Ten, Ten And ½, Eleven, Twelve, Fifteen, for the second Madhouse album (16 and four instrumentals that would later appear on Eric Leeds' Times Squared album (Night Owl, Overnight, Every Night, Andorra and Kenya).

Between the Lovesexy Tour and the Nude Tour, Levi’s role as a sideman became more and more prominent in the studio with him (co-)writing and producing many songs with Prince, including Sex for Prince, Bliss and Mind Bells for Kahoru Kohiruimaki, Shall We Dance and Bang Bang for Brown Mark, Shake! and Release It for The Time and worked on albums I Am for Elisa Fiorillo, [[[Ingrid Chavez]]’s eponymous album (also known as May 19, 1992) and T.C. Ellis’ album (True Confessions).

Paisley Park’s producer-for-hire

With the successes of Prince, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis productions in the eighties, many artists wanted to have what became known as the Minneapolis Sound on their albums. Together with David Z., Levi became one of Paisley Park’s "producers-for-hire". In December 1989, while working on the Pointer Sisters' Right Rhythm album at Paisley Park, Levi called Rosie Gaines to put her voice on a track written by Prince for the group: I Want U. This song was not retained for Right Rhythm, released in 1990, half-produced by Levi, but Prince, having attended the session, was overwhelmed by Rosie’s voice. He invited her to join her group for the upcoming Nude Tour as a replacement for Boni Boyer, who left the band following the Lovesexy Tour.

Levi Seacer, Jr also contributed to albums for other artists like Gerard Alston Deon Estus, Bobby Z. and Ricky Peterson.

The man with the blue guitar

After Miko Weaver’s departure in 1991, Levi Seacer, Jr. became Prince’s guitarist, leaving the bass duties to Sonny T. in the new band, now called The New Power Generation. As such Levi Seacer, Jr. is the only musician who held two different positions in Prince’s band. Interestingly, in 1991, Levi wore a tie-hat costume to look like the blues legend Robert Johnson (Prince tentatively planned to do a movie based around him called "The Robert Johnson Story").

In between tours and recording with Prince, he continued to write songs and produce albums for other artists for Paisley Park Records (Carmen Electra, Mavis Staples), related artists (Martika, Monie Love, Jevetta Steele, The Steeles) and artists recording at Paisley Park Studios like (Terri Nunn).

Between the Act I and Act II tours, Levi joins Prince, Michael B., Sonny T. and Eric Leeds for a five-hour session yielding songs for a Madhouse album (24 that remains unreleased).

NPG Records

After the Act II tour, The NPG is reduced to Michael B. on drums, Sonny T. on bass, and Tommy Barbarella and Morris Hayes on keyboards. Prince asked Levi to take the reins of the new label he created to replace Paisley Park Records: NPG Records. Karen Lee, his girlfriend, was in charge of the advertising for the label. But a year later, in November 1994, Levi and Karen Lee resigned while Prince was overseas. No reason was given for their sudden departure but it was said at Levi Seacer, Jr. had little interest in running a record label, particularly one so plagued with problems as NPG Records was.

After Working With Prince

In 1998, Levi and Tony M. filed a lawsuit against Prince. They claimed that he hadn’t shared royalties he owed them for the songs such as Sexy M.F. and My Name Is Prince they wrote with him. They won their case, but on the $800,000 they were claiming, they received only $40,000 each which did not cover their legal expenses.

Levi wrote and produced most of the songs for Derick Hughes' "All For Love" album released in 2000. Former NPG members Tommy Barbarella and Morris Hayes also contributed to the record.

After actively contributing to the album "Soul Symphony" by the Sounds of Blackness and touring with them, Levi released his first album under his own name, titled 2wo 4our 1one in 2010, with saxophonist Ric Alexander. It contains 12 tracks including a remake of Get Blue, a song he wrote with Prince twenty years earlier and offered to Louie Louie. The other 11 instrumentals are composed by the duo. The opening track is entitled "25 (Bopp!)" as an echo to Madhouse, and contains musical similarities with "It’s Gonna Be A Beautiful Night".

Current Work

Levi Seacer Jr joined the live line-up of Tony! Toni! Toné!’s in the early years of 2010, accompanying them on their occasional tours and concerts. He is also playing with a revised version of Shalamar with Jody Watley and continues to record in studio with these artists.

Additional Information

See also Trivia

Toni! Toné! founder D’Wayne Wiggins speaks in depth about their 1990 smash album The Revival by Chris Williams (Wax Poetics: 12 February 2016)
Prince: Back to the Movies by Paul Grein (LA Times: 06 August 1989)
Mike Scott All Biographies Prince Biography Rhonda Smith