janelle monáe robinson – Song Exploder

Dirty Computer itself was an honoring of the ‘other,’ full of anthems for the ostracized. Monáe’s big break came in 2005, at the age of 20, when she performed Roberta Flack’s “Killing Me Softly With His Song” at an open mic night.

janelle monáe jidenna – yoga – Janelle Monáe Brings Her Truth To Washington

JANELLE MONÁEJanelle Monae is one of the most unique artists of our times. And yet she remained an enigma — albeit a fabulously stylish one wrapped in a signature black and white uniform (which she calls a tribute to her working-class upbringing) — never breaking from the Mayweather character on stage or in public. The line where Mayweather ended and Monáe began was a blurry one, which allowed Monáe to make the music she wanted while keeping a safe distance from the public.

Sean Combs, the producer also known as Puffy at the time, reached out to her after her work with Big Boi put her on his radar. Monáe had already taken a few meetings with record executives, and was disillusioned by those early encounters. They criticized her style, which then involved, sartorially, androgynous suits, and musically, operatic odes to her character Cindi Mayweather. During one performance, she noticed midsong, breathless and sweating from the effort of dancing and singing, an executive casually reading a magazine. I cried,” she said. I mean, I cried.” She made Puffy a deal: She had just finished Metropolis.” She’d hear him out if he came to see her perform. It was important to know if he was serious, that he was going to appreciate me and not try to change my live show or my music.” Combs halted filming on his reality show, Making the Band” and flew down. He loved what he saw. He said, let’s meet tomorrow and let’s talk,” Monáe recalled.

One of the things that I felt was happening was, I was writing music only when I felt great. It was like, you go into the studio, and I want to go in when my heart is clear, when I know what I want to say. I got to point where it was crippling me, this idea of perfectionism, and it stopped me from writing for a minute. And what I decided to do was take some time. So when I wrote this album, it wasn’t about perfection. It was about the imperfections. It was about embracing all those things that make you unique, even if it makes your own self uncomfortable.

Janelle Monáe Robinson (born December 1, 1985) is an American singer, songwriter, rapper, actress, and producer. She is signed to Atlantic Records, as well as her own imprint, the Wondaland Arts Society.

Janelle Monáe will headline The Weekend” performance in Swope Park on Oct. 13, according to an announcement today by Kansas City Mayor Sly James. Janelle Monáe has come out as pansexual in an interview released on Thursday in Rolling Stone The singer and actress is known for being private about her personal life.

The album is broken up into three parts. The first few songs represent the reckoning — reckoning with what it means to be called a n for the first time by a white person, or being called a b for the first time by a man. And then you have the middle section, where ” Pynk ” falls in, and songs like ” Make Me Feel ,” that are celebratory of sexuality and of womanness. The latter part of the album deals with the reclamation: A song like ” Americans ” is about reclaiming what it means to be an American. My ancestors helped build the White House, helped build this country. And it’s not time to run away, it’s time to stand your ground and confront what I call the great divide — those who seek to divide us and highlight all our differences and make us fearful of each other.

Monae’s new album, Dirty Computer, acknowledges her sexuality with a sense of liberation and self-belief, while addressing the struggles facing marginalised communities in Trump’s America. Janelle Monae goes miniature in the innovative new film, Welcome to Marwen.

Thrill to an hour with iconoclastic R&B maverick Janelle Monáe, as the singer and actress performs songs from her acclaimed LP Dirty Computer. A singer, songwriter, producer, and performer from Kansas City, Kansas, Janelle’s innovative style melds a redefined pop sensibility with an extraordinary mash-up of soul, funk, and rock n’ roll.

She initially graduated from F.L. Schlagle High School. Janelle later moved to New York City to study drama and attended the American Musical and Dramatic Academy, where she became part of a performing arts camp called Freedom Theatre. She founded the Wondaland Arts Society after moving to Atlanta, Georgia in 2001.

In the new season of Hollywood historian Karina Longworth ‘s acclaimed podcast, You Must Remember This ,” the former film critic delves into the history of Song of the South” — how it was made, the controversy that surrounded it from the get-go, and how Disney has managed to profit off of the film without ever giving it a home entertainment release.

She was named trailblazer of the year at Billboard’s Women in Music awards, woman of the year by Glamour. She came out as pansexual in a sprawling Rolling Stone cover story. And her album Dirty Computer , released this spring with a companion film — sorry, “emotion picture” — is Grammy-nominated for album of the year and can be found on practically every major list of the best albums of 2018, including ours.

While Monáe was making a go of it in New York, one of her best friends was studying at a historically black college down in Atlanta — and that friend told Monáe all about it, according to The New York Times Magazine After hearing about the camaraderie her friend was experiencing there, as well as the lifestyle that comes with HBCU life, Monáe decided it was time to leave New York a year and a half after she’d first arrived. “I wanted to really feel inspired and start things with Janelle Monáe,” the singer recalled in an interview with The Quietus , adding, “I didn’t want to get dictated to by anybody, except for just listening to and accomplishing my own heart, to get in contact with the things that made me unique.” It was time for her to fly, for sure.

I didn’t set out to make a perfect album. That wasn’t my goal,” Monáe asserts. I have definitely gone in the studio and said, ‘Hey, I want to make the perfect song.’ This was not about that. It was about the imperfections. How can I create an album that can be imperfect? When I’m recording, I feel like I have to be perfect in front of people. I’m grateful to have a team that I don’t feel that way in front of, but I try to make sure that I’m giving myself space to just mess around and have fun and get lost. I like getting lost and discovering myself all over again.

In 2013, Janelle launched her second studio album, The Electric Lady”. The first official single off the album, Q.U.E.E.N.” has over 10,000,000 views on YouTube. Yoga,” the second single from Monae’s upcoming Wondaland Records collective EP, The Eephus” accumulated nearly 5,000,000 views on YouTube in its first month.

Monáe’s debut album The ArchAndroid” was released to widespread acclaim, earning her multiple Grammy nominations, and the title of The #1 Album of 2010” by The Associated Press, The Guardian, The Chicago Tribune, and The Los Angeles Times. Monáe was also a recipient of the 2011 ASCAP Vanguard Award, and was included in the first-ever Women Who Rock” exhibit at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame earlier that year. A dynamic performer and artistic entrepreneur, Ms. Monáe has launched her own record label called the Wondaland Arts Society, and has performed worldwide with artistic legends such as Stevie Wonder and Prince.


MONÁE: I would love that. I’m, I’m actually partnering with some organizations even around this show, and some of the people in the organizations in the arts, LGBTQ youth programs, anti-violence programs will be at the show. And so I’m extremely excited about that and I’m just looking forward to doing more in the community.

Working on Moonlight” and Hidden Figures” — films explicitly centered in blackness and, in the case of the former, identity and sexuality — helped Monáe realize she needed to tell her own story and not hide behind her futuristic persona.

It’s a brilliant strategy. In having multiples selves, Monáe can expand upon the worldbuilding of her narrative, told in multiple viewpoints but all originating from herself. She is not locked into a single narrative, but is able to explore all facets of her self-identity, from her queerness to her blackness to her religious faith. This makes Monáe not only an excellent musician, but also an amazing storyteller, one who is telling a science fiction story in real time.

Dirty Computer, in many ways, was a siren call to support those who are others, and who are othered. It was Monáe’s most personal work in her career, and, perhaps not coincidentally, also the most celebrated. We are meeting to discuss her journey and her initiatives, yet she is, as she has been throughout her career, redirecting the conversation towards those who are marginalized. To Monáe, there are part of her story, too, and they need attention paid.

I’m never off the clock, and that is the reason why I’ve been made to be an android — to deal with this level of high demand and pressures.” She was looking forward to taking time to download” new ideas. Just take a look at the liner notes to Dirty Computer and it’s easy to see that for Monáe, inspiration is everywhere and nothing is what it seems. The new record, for instance, can be easily assumed to be wholly a byproduct of everything that’s come in the wake of the 2016 American Presidential Election, but in fact, it’s that reality, jarringly, caught up with her fiction. The premise dates back to before her first full-length album, 2010’s The ArchAndroid. She created the majority of the songs during Obama’s presidency.

That’s a lot to put on a pop star. But Monáe and the Wondaland Arts Society have always been looking to the future – and not doing it with an apocalyptic if but a triumphant when. And it just so happens that when begins now.

During this period, she met Mikael Moore, her longtime manager, and his classmates Chuck Lightning and Nate Wonder, who would eventually became close collaborators and form the backbone of all her creative efforts — writing songs with Monáe and directing her videos, which they continue to do. At an open-mic night, she met Antwan Patton, otherwise known as Big Boi, from OutKast. He invited her to contribute to Got Purp? Vol. II,” a 2005 compilation album that featured artists of Dirty South rap like Goodie Mob and Bubba Sparxxx but few other women. She also appeared on the soundtrack for Idlewild,” the 2006 musical film starring Patton and André Benjamin, or André 3000, Patton’s partner in OutKast.

Welcome to Marwen is Monae’s second movie role, following her work in Hidden Figures. She released her latest album, Dirty Computer, earlier this year. Check out the trailer to see her newest movie role in action.

I want young girls, young boys, nonbinary, gay, straight, queer people who are having a hard time dealing with their sexuality, dealing with feeling ostracized or bullied for just being their unique selves, to know that I see you,” Monae told Rolling Stone.

She made her debut in 2007 with Metropolis: Suite 1 (The Chase), a genre-jumping EP that caught Prince’s ear (he became a mentor) and got her a Grammy nomination (for the song Many Moons”). Her fusion of rock, funk, hip-hop and R&B proved timely, even ahead of the curve. Her first LP, The ArchAndroid, followed in 2010, building up to 2013’s The Electric Lady, an elaborate opus that gave a taste of what she could do without Mayweather’s tale as her album’s spine.

Monáe’s musical career began in 2003 when she released an unofficial demo album titled The Audition. In 2007, she publicly debuted with a conceptual EP titled Metropolis: Suite I (The Chase). It peaked at number two on the US Top Heatseekers chart, and in 2010, through Bad Boy Records, Monáe released her first full-length studio album, The ArchAndroid, a concept album and sequel to her first EP.

Monáe was born in Kansas City, Kansas and was raised in its working-class community Quindaro 20 She is the daughter of a janitor mother, Janet 20 and a truck driver father, Michael Robinson Summers. 21 She dreamed of being a singer and a performer from a very young age 19 and has cited the fictional character of Dorothy Gale from The Wizard of Oz as a musical influence.

Meanwhile, she’s again anticipating questions from her family back in Kansas. She seems more worried about them than what anyone else has to say. Still, Dirty Computer is meant to be a celebration, and if she loses a few people along the way, Monáe seems OK with that risk.



Monáe is a six-time Grammy nominee who has made her mark in the R&B space with her retro-futuristic sound, taking off in 2007 with her conceptual EP Metropolis: Suite I (The Chase). Her latest album, released in April, Dirty Computer peaked at the No. 6 spot on the Billboard 200. She voiced the character of Dr. Monáe in the animated sequel Rio 2, followed by key roles in the Best Picture Oscar winner Moonlight and the Oscar-nominated Hidden Figures which made $236M at the global box office. She also wrote and performed two tracks on the Hidden Figures soundtrack, Isn’t This the World” and Jalapeño”, the latter with Pharrell Williams. Monáe will also be voicing characters in STX’s upcoming May 2019 animated release UglyDolls and Peg in Disney’s live-action take on its animated classic Lady and the Tramp.

The album earned Monáe a Grammy nomination for the song Many Moons.” She would go on to collect five more nominations across two more albums, both of which starred her alter-ego, Mayweather. For years, Monáe remained safely cocooned within the character. Cindi helps me talk more,” she said; through Mayweather, she could address things she didn’t feel comfortable talking about directly. You can parallel the other in the android to being a black woman right now, to being a part of the L.G.B.T.Q. community,” she said. What it feels like to be called a nigger by your oppressor.” Mayweather was a proxy for all the things about Monaé that made others uncomfortable, like her androgyny, her opaque sexual identity, her gender fluidity — her defiance of easy categorization.

Sharing is caring!