Snapshot: Janelle Monae for Uptown Magazine October/November 2013

On Paris: “I love it here. Parisians are so warm, welcoming and dangerous. I feel like a beetle that is carefully held and protected in Paris. They are so fun and free and crazy. Plus, Claude Monet actually stole my name and put an ‘e’ and a ‘t’ on it, which stands for ‘extra terrestrial.’ There are a lot of weird things going on over here in Paris, but I can dig it.”

On record sales: “When you release your first album, record sales are important. But now, I don’t really care. I feel like this music is from God and I am the pastor that does not need a mega-church. I am fine with my 200-seat church, as long as the people that need it come and get inspired. I know what I could do to be amongst the popular crowd.”

On the biggest misconception about her: “People think I am so straitlaced and buttoned up. There is a lot of life underneath this tuxedo. I like to have fun. I enjoy practical jokes. I enjoy rolling around the mall in wheelchairs. I enjoy taking someone’s baby and putting it on my hip for about two hours straight and then giving it back.”

On her complicated lyrics: “I realized that I was over-complicating things at one point. I told myself, ‘You don’t have to do that.’ I was getting the sense that I was talking over people’s heads. Just like Erykah Badu sings, ‘What good do your words do/If they can’t understand you?’

janelle monae for upton magazine october november 2013
On meeting Erykah Badu: “We met underwater. She was the Queen of the Water and I was swimming. We would perform and talk about what kind of popcorn and hotdogs we like.”

On Diddy’s role in her career: “He is the ambassador and protector of the jam. He makes sure that our ideas get out into the world. He is not involved creatively. He is the spokesperson for corporations when it’s time to talk business. When we don’t want to have conversations with suits, he goes in and slaps people for us. He is our highest professional slapper. He slaps anyone that tries to mess up the jam.”

Read more here.
Images: Uptown


Claire Sulmers is the publisher and founder of Fashion Bomb Daily, the #43 most influential style magazine in the world.

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