Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Star Wars meets soul on new CD

  • Print

NEW YORK -- Janelle Monáe finally gave birth this week. No, it wasn't a little baby, but a bundle of music she says was just as labour-intensive.

"I just feel like this is a baby and I'm ready to have a C-section or this baby is ready to come," Monáe said of The Electric Lady, released Tuesday.

Monáe's sophomore effort comes three years after her critically acclaimed full-length debut, The ArchAndroid.

The new album is a departure for the 27-year-old, who collaborates with Prince (Givin Em What They Love), Miguel (Primetime) and Erykah Badu (Q.U.E.E.N.) on the 19-track set.

"None of it was for politics," she said of the guest artists, who also include Esperanza Spalding and Solange. "These guys are writing their own music, in control of their futures... they do what they feel on their own terms and time."

In an interview with The Associated Press, Monáe, who is based in Atlanta, talked about how her painting helped her create the songs that make up The Electric Lady, co-executive produced by Diddy and Big Boi.

 

AP: Your albums follow the story of Cindi Mayweather, an android who falls in love with a human and she's being punished for that. What's happening with her on The Electric Lady?

Monáe: This is her life before she became the ArchAndroid, what the community thought about her, what her thoughts were, what got her into trouble (and) why they wanted to dissemble her.

 

AP: Are you Cindi?

Monáe: We share the same DNA.

 

AP: Who influenced the album?

Monáe: George Lucas. I performed at his wedding reception... I met him and I got a chance to speak with Steven Spielberg, and these are people whose ideas, you know, if they weren't able to make their movies, I don't think that I would have been able to articulate my thoughts on Cindi. They kind of showed me how to do that; I just wanted to do it with music.

 

AP: How did you come up with the songs for the new album?

Monáe: The concept for that album didn't come to me until I went on tour and I started to paint, and I would sing and paint at the same time. I would paint the silhouette of this female body... and I didn't quite understand why I was painting this woman. I actually was a little freaked out by it. So I went back to Atlanta and I talked to my therapist, and she encouraged me, she said, 'You should name her. Name her.' And I did.


AP: Were you in therapy for a specific reason?

Monáe: All around. I find it very helpful. It helps with my songwriting, because once I am talking to somebody and I'm getting it out and it's not in my head, I'm able to just write it out.

 

AP: How long have you been in therapy?

Monáe: Since I was a one-year-old I've had a therapist, someone to talk to. They might have not been certified, but I've always talked and been very open about where I am in my life.

 

AP: What was it like to work with Prince?

Monáe: It was very organic. Prince... reached out to me when I released Metropolis... and I was doing that almost independently. He and I have been friends ever since and he's always respected me as a businesswoman and he thought it was great that Puffy wasn't telling me what to do and that I was in control of my creativity. And he always said, 'If you ever need anything, I'm always here.'


AP: You're sticking to your black-and-white fashion style, but your hair is straight in the Dance Apocalyptic music video. What happened?

Monáe: That wasn't me. That was probably Electric Lady 57821. Lots of clones.

 

AP: Are you in the Q.U.E.E.N. video?

Monáe: Only on half of the video. The rap part. I have clones.

 

AP: How many clones do you have?

Monáe: I can't tell you, but that definitely wasn't me.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 14, 2013 G9

History

Updated on Saturday, September 14, 2013 at 9:16 AM CDT: Corrects spelling of Monáe

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Museum will create a conversation: Stuart Murray

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A baby Red Panda in her area at the Zoo. International Red Panda Day is Saturday September 15th and the Assiniboine Park Zoo will be celebrating in a big way! The Zoo is home to three red pandas - Rufus, Rouge and their cub who was born on June 30 of this year. The female cub has yet to be named and the Assiniboine Park Zoo is asking the community to help. September 14, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
  • Marc Gallant/Winnipeg Free Press. Gardening Column- Assiniboine Park English Garden. July 19, 2002.

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you think volunteers dragging the Red River is a good idea?

View Results

Ads by Google