I have a feeling we will never really know who Janelle Monae is. But what’s not up for debate is how talented she is! Since her breakout single, “Tightrope” in 2010, Janelle has tap danced her way into my heart. She covers BUST Magazine‘s August/September issue in her typical black and white uniform offering not one single apology for not conforming.
In her interview she manages to be freakishly abstract avoiding relationship questions and what she does on her spare time. Instead she focuses on her highly anticipated sophomore album, The Electric Lady, andmore simple questions like:
On when she 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.
On her science fiction influence:
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.