Ida Nielsen

Danish bassist gets frank about her love of funk, work with Prince and signature Sandberg bass.

By David Sands

Ida Nielsen is one Dane who certainly knows how to bring on the funk. Perhaps best known for her work with Prince, her funky bass lines have also attracted a passionate following of fans who know her by the nicknames “Bassida,” and “Ida Funkhouser.”

Raised in rural Denmark, the lively multi-instrumentalist was first drawn to the bass as a teenager and later sharpened her skills at The Royal Danish Academy of Music where she majored in electric bass. After several years of playing with Danish bands like Michael Learns to Read and the Belgian-African pop ensemble Zap Mama, Nielsen got the itch to start recording her own music. She released her debut solo album, Marmelade in 2008. Around 2010, she began releasing music and videos on social media, which brought her to the attention of Prince. She joined the Purple One’s backing band, New Power Generation that year, and immediately began touring. From 2014 until Prince’s death last April, she also held down the bass lines for 3rdeyegirl, another of his backing bands.

Last year, Nielsen released her third solo album Turnitup, a blend of old school funk and hip hop that also offers a touch of reggae and world music. With the exception of some live drumming, she played, programmed and produced every aspect of the album. Since Turnitup‘s release she’s been touring the world, playing her own music with her band.

FBPO’s Jon Liebman recently got a chance to sit down with Ida at the London Bass Guitar Show in London, England.

Watch our interview with Ida:

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