Name: Janelle Monáe
Alter Ego: Cindi Mayweather
Labels: Wondaland Arts Society, Bad Boy Records
Artistic Influences: Prince, James Brown, Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, OutKast, Erykah Badu, Funkadelic, George Clinton, Michael Jackson
Associated Acts: OutKast, Big Boi, Erykah Badu, Andre 3000, Miguel, fun.
Previous Works: The Audition EP (2003)
Metropolis: Suite I (The Chase) EP (2007)
The ArchAndroid (2010)
Latest Release: Electric Lady (2013)
Initially, I discovered Janelle in 2006 when she was featured alongside OutKast on the “Idlewild” soundtrack. The track is entitled “Call The Law.” I loved her delivery on the song, where she sang about being fed up with love and that the law may be called after she’s finished with it all. The theme of the song coincided with the storyline of the film. I was left wondering who this woman with the soulful, heartfelt delivery was. During the same time period, my question was answered when she made a cameo in the “Morris Brown” video from the “Idlewild” soundtrack as well.
Janelle moved to Atlanta, Georgia in 2001 where she met Big Boi of OutKast. She released her first EP while there in 2003, entitled “The Audition.” While residing there, Janelle and two friends founded the Wondaland Arts Society, a record label and artists’ collective to promote innovative music and art. Big Boi was so impressed with her talent and style that he played a pivotal role in linking Janelle with Sean “Diddy” Combs.
According to Bad Boy Records’ A&R Daniel ‘Skid’ Mitchell in an interview with HitQuarters the label boss loved Janelle straight away: “[He] loved her look, loved that you couldn’t see her body, loved the way she was dancing, and just loved the vibe. He felt like she has something that was different – something new and fresh.” Monáe signed to Bad Boy in 2006.
Android Theme: “Cindi is an android and I love speaking about the android because they are the new “other”. People are afraid of the other and I believe we’re going to live in a world with androids because of technology and the way it advances.”
Fashion Sense: Avant-Garde—just like her music. Janelle’s look is very distinctive and androgynous. “Dressed in her trademark starched shirt and tuxedo, hair immaculately coiffed, Monáe’s face is an opaque mask of perfection: all silken smooth skin, button nose and glassy brown eyes.” (The Daily Telegram).
This also coincides with the android themes that are displayed throughout her EPs and albums and with her alter ego, Cindi Mayweather. She has described her tuxedos as being a uniform for her career and she has stated that she wears them when she is working. In 2012, her distinct style and flawless beauty attributed to her being selected as one of the newest spokeswomen for CoverGirl cosmetics.
Check out one of Janelle’s breakthrough songs “Tightrope” below (which was nominated for Best Urban/Alternative Performance at the 2011 Grammy Awards!)
“As we like to say at Wondaland, the booty don’t lie. The booty always obeys the LAW OF THE JAM. You can’t hate on something that makes your booty move, that makes you jam and have a good time.”–Janelle Monáe
Watch the music video for the track entitled “Q.U.E.E.N.” It features the legendary, imitable Erykah Badu..“The booty don’t lie!!” for this song! I guarantee your hips will sway to this!
Janelle is the next big star! She embodies the whole package: innovation, uniqueness, talent, and inimitability! Buy her album “Electric Lady” on iTunes or from her website..For more info check out her website http://www.jmonae.com