I’ve been doing this celebrity-interview thing for so long it’s rare I get gobsmacked. (That restraining order from Ryan Lochte was just a big misunderstanding.)
But Janelle Monáe took my breath away.
Not just with her staggering beauty and sickening style, but her razor-sharp focus on what she’s trying to accomplish artistically and culturally.
Monáe’s new album, The Electric Lady, continues the futuristic robot-love concept she began in The ArchAndroid, but takes it ten steps further: It’s a retro-funk soundtrack to a film Monáe is very much intent on creating (more on that in the interview above), and features appearances by everyone Erykah Badu and Miguel to jazz vocalist Esperanza Spalding and even Monáe’s spiritual predecessor, Prince.
In the NNN interview above, Monáe talks about some of those collaborators, creating “(e)motion pictures” with Lady, and why her unique look is so essential to her message. “When you see me in my uniform, you know I’m working.”
Janelle Monae’s The Electric Lady is available now on iTunes.