Janelle Monae

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With Janelle’s new album arriving in stores September 10th Janelle Monae has been everywhere promoting her sophomore project and her latest stop was at Bust magazine. In the new issue Janelle talks about what her life was like growing up in Kansas City her theater influence in music and more. You can read the full interview here

When did you first start singing?

I don’t remember. Singing is part of my DNA. Both sides of my family are musically inclined. I had living-room training. That’s when you go in a living room and sing in front of everybody, and then everybody sings with each other.

Before you started making albums, you studied drama at a conservatory in New York. What led to that interest?

As great as Kansas and my family were, I wanted to leave after high school. I wanted to hone my craft, get better as a performer, and be involved with musical theater. But most importantly, I really just wanted a ticket out of Kansas City. I didn’t finish, but I learned a lot about myself. I grew up in predominantly African-American schools, so it was a culture shock for me when I moved to New York because I was the only black girl in my classes. I had to adjust, and people had to adjust to me. I also learned that I didn’t want to be in musical theater. I think it’s the control freak in me. I didn’t want to go from audition to audition and have my success be dependent on what I look like and whether or not I’m right for the role. So I started to plan for my future: to own my own label and write songs, plays, and concept albums that I could have full creative control over.

Your last album, The ArchAndroid, referenced Fritz Lang’s Metropolis and had a very sci-fi feel. How did you get so into science fiction?

I would always watch The Twilight Zone with my grandmother, and I knew about Star Wars and things. But when I met [my producing partners] Chuck Lightning and Nate Wonder, they got me into Isaac Asimov, artificial intelligence, and cybernetics. Chuck asked me to watch Metropolis, and I was like, Wow. I saw the parallels between growing up in Kansas City and the have-nots living underground, working for the haves. That constant struggle was something I could identify with because my parents worked day and night, trying to make a living. I thought science fiction was a great way of talking about the future. It doesn’t make people feel like you’re talking about things that are happening right now, so they don’t feel like you’re talking down to them. It gives the listener a different perspective.

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Janelle Monae lets her hair down and shows off her fancy foot work for the visual’s to her new single “Dance Apocalyptic” the second single off her sophomore album The Electric Lady, which is due out on September 10. In the Wendy Morgan directed video Janelle ditches her signature black and white tux as she dances around  for her fans causing Apocalyptic havoc out in the world.

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Janelle Monae shows off a new look with longer locks for the preview of her new video “Dance Apocalyptic” the next single lifted off her sophomore album The Electric Lady, due September 10. Janelle premiered the 30 second clip preview this weekend during the BET Awards. Check out the preview below and look out for the full video which will drop tomorrow.

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Janelle Monae will release her highly anticipated sophomore album “The Electric Lady” September 10th, along with the news of her album release date Janelle has unveiled the teaser to her new song “Dance Apocalyptic” which will debut fully this Tuesday. Check out the new song and video teaser below. Janelle Monae will also hit the BET Music Awards stage this Sunday.

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Janelle Monae and Erykah Badu gave us all something to groove to with her first single Q.U.E.E.N., with her new album due in September then quirky songstress gave out more details about her sophomore album “The Electric Lady” during her most recent interview with Billboard magazine.  In the interview Janelle revealed more collaborations on this new album which include Prince and Miguel and a very known music Icon who she kept quite about. Click here to read the full interview

“I had a chance to produce an icon,” says Monáe, who is keeping the name of their song under wraps. “It’s not every day that he collaborates. I’m honored and humbled that he trusted me. He is forever my friend, and I am forever indebted. I can’t say too much else about it.”

On working with Miguel

Miguel guests on the glimmering “Primetime,” which interpolates the Pixies’ famous “Where Is My Mind?” “ooh” section atop a spare funk beat. It’s a love duet that builds on harmonies and the chorus — “Primetime for our love/Heaven is bettin’ on us” — and unites their glossy croons so well one can almost feel them melting into one another.