Janelle Monae On New Year's Eve Peach Drop, 'The Electric Lady, Erykah Badu, The Obamas
Janelle Monae, a singer who fuses R&B, funk and soul and is often spotted wearing a tuxedo, is undoubtedly on the rise. Last year, Monae, 28, performed two tracks on Saturday Night Live on Oct. 26. She began with “Dance Apocalyptic,” and finished by performing her new album’s title track, “Electric Lady.” In 2013, Monae was awarded the Rising Star Award by Billboard.
Monae, who has played fundraisers for President Obama and performed at the President’s second inauguration, recently headlined the Atlanta’s annual New Year’s Peach Drop celebrating M&M’s Year of the Peanut. “I love the Obamas and anytime they call me, I’m there,” Monae told uInterview exclusively.
I was so thankful. I'm humbled. Very encouraged. There are a lot of amazing young women, you know artists, female artists out here, and for me to be selected I just look at it as encouragement. I hope that it inspires independent artists and girls all over the world to just stay true to their core values and their beliefs and embrace those things that make them unique, even if it makes others uncomfortable and this still feels like the beginning of my career, so to be recognized at this stage is again just encouraging me to continue on my journey.
Yeah. I'm so thankful to the first family, the First Lady and President for inviting me and wanting me to come to perform for Christmas in Washington. It was just, I mean it's a traditional event, and to be a part of that lineup with Sheryl Crow and so many amazing artists, it was just electrifying and the first family - I love them so much, I've done a lot of work with them over the years. He loves 'The Electric Lady.' They call me 'The Electric Lady' when they see me. And they have the album. I started off my year in 2013 at the Inauguration. I did, I was the headlining act for the Inauguration's party at the White House, so I love the Obamas and anytime they call me, I'm there.
I don't, you know, because I'm constantly evolving or I'm trying to evolve as an artist. A lot of times and most of the time in my life and so I am - I let everybody else describe it and say what they think it is. I'm not a fan of marginalization of an artist.
First of all, I'm thankful I got to work with like a few of the industry's most incredible artists. Erykah Badu, who is such a close friend to me and like a mentor, it was just collaborating with her on 'Queen.' She's a producer and a writer and for her to trust me and let me guide her through the song. It was an organic process. A lot of the lyrics that you hear on 'Q.U.E.E.N.' were inspired by us; our conversations, our private conversations and dialogue. And so I'm just so thankful to her and IÃ¢m also very thankful to one of my musical heroes, Prince, who is also like a mentor to me. And he, for him to allow me to guide him and him to trust me to produce him on the song, is truly a dream. IÃ¢m still like pinching myself.
Oh I love fun. I'm so thankful that they reached out to me. They had heard my album, The ArchAndroid, and they were big fans and they said, 'We have this song we want you to get on,' so they sent it to me and I was on tour at the time and I listened to it and I like, 'Wow. This is a big song. This is, this song is awesome.' And I loved it and the rest was history, so I'm just thankful to fun. and so excited about what they're going to do next.