She’s singing with Prince and Erykah Badu. She pays homage to her family and ancestors by wearing black and white clothing that pays tribute to their work as domestics. She’s a Kansas City, Kansas native who found her big break once she moved to Atlanta. She is Janelle Monae, one of the most unique artists to come out in the last decade.
Her second album “Electric Lady” drops September 10, and she’ll be at the Tom Joyner Family Reunion. Monae has a history with the show, coming out to several Sky shows even when she wasn’t performing. With “Electric Lady” expect more of the genre-defying funk, rock and soul that has made Monae one of the most exciting new artists to come along in a while.
“Big Boi of Outkast was instrumental in helping me,” says Monae. “I was living in a boarding house with six other girls selling my independent music in the AUC – Clark, Spelman and all the black colleges.”
Monae will be at the Tom Joyner Family Reunion along with Fantasia, TGT, So So Def’s 20th Anniversary All-Stars and more. Her album drops a week later and Monae says she’s very excited about previewing it for attendees at the Reunion.
“We brought in live instrumentation, we brought in orchestras, amazing musicians, string players, horn players. I get the opportunity to collaborate with some brilliant artists like Erykah Badu – she’s featured on “Q.U.E.E.N.” It’s a female empowerment song for those who are often marginalized –We wanted to make a song against those who get discriminated against whether you’re black or white. We wanted to make a female empowerment song showing that two strong women can get together and do something to move the community forward.
Also I have Esperanza Spalding and I got a chance to work with Miguel. We just released a song yesterday called “Primetime.” And Solange Knowles, a great friend, is on the album. And I got a chance to work with one of my musical heroes – Prince.”
Monae says she is very proud of “Electric Lady” and that she hopes it will serve to show her fans and others a different slice of R&B. One of the most unique and respected artists in contemporary music, Monae says she wants to be known for creating music across boundaries.
“This music is jamming and it’s deeply rooted in R&B music but I didn’t want to do the marginalization – the limiting – of R&B music. I wanted to make sure that I was tackling the diversity of R&B music and exposing people to Bo Diddley and Jimi Hendrix and live instrumentation and making sure that we can all be proud of something innovative in R&B music.”
“Electric Lady” tracklist:
01 Suite IV: Electric Overture
02 Givin Em What They Love [ft. Prince]
03 Q.U.E.E.N. [ft. Erykah Badu]
04 Electric Lady [ft. Solange]
05 Good Morning Midnight (Interlude)
06 PrimeTime [ft. Miguel]
07 We Were Rock and Roll
08 The Chrome Shoppe (Interlude)
09 Dance Apocalyptic
10 Look Into My Eyes
11 Suite V: Electric Overture
12 It’s Code
13 Ghetto Woman
14 Our Favorite Fugitive (Interlude)
16 Can’t Live Without Your Love
17 Sally Ride
18 Dorothy Dandridge Eyes [tt. Esperanza Spalding]
19 What an Experience
20 Q.U.E.E.N. [feat. Erykah Badu] [Wondamix] (Bonus)
21 Electric Lady [feat. Big Boi and Cee-Lo Green] [Dungeon-Wondamix] (Bonus)
22 HYTB (Bonus)
23 I Want You Back (Bonus)
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