Janelle Monae is Coming! JANELLE MONAE IS COMING!
8/23/2013 10:10:00 AM
Maybe you recognize her name from the fun. song "We Are Young" or her face as being the current Cover Girl, but it's time you got to know Janelle Monae in her own right.
"Post-Outkast, Stefani-fied funk" is the way my friend Eric described her sound when he sent me a link to her debut EP, Metropolis: Suite I (The Chase) back in 2008. I immediately fell in love with this 7 track disc that began the story of Cindi Mayweather, an android who'd fallen in love with a human named Anthony Greendown, which was way against the rules in Metropolis, so she runs for her life. The video for "Many Moons" does a great job introducing you to her beautiful insanity:
It would be another two years before she put this perfect blend of sci-fi, musical theater, and psychedelic soul on a full-length album, The ArchAndroid. Suites II and III of her concept series found Cindi realizing she is ... well, let me use Janelle's own words: "a messianic android sent back in time to free the citizens of Metropolis from The Great Divide, a secret society that uses time-travel to suppress freedom and love." The lead single from this album, "Tightrope," has garnered more than 11 million views:
During that album's promotion, Janelle's fanbase grew to include the likes of Barack Obama (she's performed for him twice now) and Prince, who will be featured on her new album. Solange, Miguel, and Esperanza Spalding will also be featured on the album ... and here's the track "Q.U.E.E.N." featuring Erykah Badu:
The Electric Lady (suites IV and V in a seven-part series) will be in stores on September 10, and I CANNOT WAIT. Preorder it here. I am also BEYOND EXCITED to see her in concert again, which we get to do November 12th at ACL Live at Moody Theater. Buy tickets here and get ready - the last and only time I saw Janelle Monae live, I drove 5 hours to watch her open for Bruno Mars and was absolutely dazzled by the energy her entire band (and ArchOrchestra!) shared with the audience.
There is so much more I could tell you about this woman, but this blog post could easily become a novel ... so I recommend you pick up the current edition of Bust magazine with her face on the cover (in which she explains the black & white uniform) and know that I believe Janelle Monae is one of the most incredible artists of this generation.