Prince liked to work with new artists. Over the years, his protégés included the Time, Liv Warfield and 3rdEyeGirl.

In the spirit of giving new talent an opportunity, Prince’s heirs are staging a battle of the bands this weekend at Paisley Park in Chanhassen. The winner receives recording time at Paisley and a mentoring session with former members of Prince’s New Power Generation.

More than 125 acts submitted videos to Paisley Park’s Facebook page in July to enter the competition, called Musicology — Battle of the Bands. Nine finalists were chosen by Paisley staffers.

The emphasis was on “real music by real musicians,” as Prince used to say. In other words, this isn’t “American Idol” or “The Voice.”

Starting Thursday, three acts will perform on each of three semifinal nights, with a winner chosen daily. Then the three finalists will vie again on Sunday night.

Four of the candidates are from the Twin Cities. Indeed, Prince long supported hometown talent.

The Twin Cities finalists are Pho, iLLism, Radiochurch and Purple Funk Metropolis.

The other competitors are Cosmos from Seattle; the Nightowls from Austin, Texas; Black Alley from Washington, D.C.; Le’Asha Julius from New York City, and Anonymous Da Band from Atlanta.

This competition is inspired by the 1970s battles of the bands in which Prince, Sonny Thompson, Jellybean Johnson, Morris Day and other Minneapolis teens participated at community centers and city parks.

The event takes its moniker, Musicology, from Prince’s 2004 album of the same name that earned him two Grammys. The title song discusses how different generations of music makers are connected musically.

Musicology — Battle of the Bands is open to the public. Tickets cost $100 daily and include a tour of the Paisley Park museum plus an hourlong dance party after the live music, which runs from 7 to 10 p.m. Tickets are available at

Some of Prince’s discoveries had successful careers, including the Time, Wendy & Lisa and Sheila E. Others such as Jill Jones, Ingrid Chavez and Bria Valente disappeared.

We’ll see what happens to the winner of the first battle of the bands at Paisley Park.