Sheila E. is the “Queen of Percussion,” but she’s also so much more. The musician has worked in the spheres of R&B, funk, jazz, and more, including famous collaborations with Prince. Now, she’s bringing her band, the E-Train, to Boston for two showsat Boston City Winery. Ahead of the appearances, she joined The Culture Show host Jared Bowen for a conversation about her craft.

The artist describes her work as “a little bit of everything.” She was inspired by her father, Mexican-American jazz percussionist Pete Escovedo, with whom she played with at just age 5; she says that his collaborative spirit influenced her own work in her career, explaining that “when you’re in a room and collaborating with other artists, [...] it makes it special.”

Despite her long-lasting career and multiple influences, Sheila E. revealed that she doesn’t actually read music — instead she relies on listening to what she plays.

“I’m actually still trying to teach myself,” she says. “It’s never too late [to learn], but the process is if I hear something, I can kind of repeat it. [...] I’ve taught myself to learn the actual pieces so I don’t have to think about it ... I just know it.”

In her collaborations with Prince, she says that this never posed an issue. “It’s not that he really read a lot of music either,” she explains. “It wasn’t something that was needed, that I needed to read music because it’s not like we had charts. No one ever had charts. We just passed out cassettes.”

Sheila E. reflected on her experiences at Paisley Park as a musician, splitting her time between Studio A and Studio B to record separate percussion tracks. She said, “it was lively. You’re creating, and that creation became things that the entire world listens to. It’s pretty amazing. There was always something going on, and then it grew.”

Alongside Prince, Sheila E. recorded hundreds of songs, some of which were never formally released but have been leaked online. “Things are slipping through,” she said, “but there’s a lot of music that’s in there that were not even finished.”

Recently, she attempted to return to Paisley Park on Prince’s birthday and was denied access. Sheila E. requested her on-site drum set be returned. She says that she hasn’t spoken to Paisley Park since the incident. “One of the people did call, and they did say that they allowed me access to another room, the merchandise room. I was like, that’s not where I want to go. I want to go where I wrote all my songs and recorded.”

While she recognized that staff were just following protocol, she says, “I wasn’t really happy with the whole thing and how it went down. [...] I think a lot needs to be changed over there. I’ve been saying that forever, but I walked away because it’s not my business.”

All in all, however, Sheila E. thinks that there have been changes more broadly in the music industry for women in percussion. “There are so many young women playing right now. It’s astounding, actually,” she said. “I somewhat mentor a lot of young women, especially on social media. I continue to encourage them to keep moving forward and getting things done.” Her advice to those she mentors is simple: “Keep being you, keep pushing through and it’s just beautiful to see.”

Listen to the full interview above, and listen to The Culture Show every weekday at 2 p.m. on GBH.