Janelle Monáe recently stopped by Audacy’s Star 94 studios to chat about her brand new album, The Age of Pleasure, remaining steadfast in her authenticity, her Rolling Stone cover, and more.
LISTEN NOW: Janelle Monáe on 'The Age of Pleasure'
Answering whether she realizes the impact she has just by being herself, Janelle acknowledged that she does. And while she doesn’t look at herself as a role model, she does understand “that with the platform that I have,” plus “with art and with music you reach I a lot of people.” She realizes the importance of “telling my stories, and remaining authentic to who I am and honoring me presently." Adding “it’s a beautiful thing to have people say,” that they see themselves in her. Though she is on her own individual journey, and believes everyone else should be too.
Obviously Janelle’s recent Rolling Stone cover had to be discussed, which aside from the gorgeous photo features the the words “Freer Than Ever.” Admittedly not her own personal addition to the publication so not knowing the exact intention, Janelle shared what those words mean to her.
“What I’ve felt and recognized is that whenever I evolve, I bring that with me.” It’s about “really doing the work to tap into another level of freedom, freedom of expression,” Janelle expressed. And while close friends and family have already been privy to that, Janelle is now allowing “the rest of the world to come into my world just a little bit more.”
Noting that Rolling Stone is both “nostalgic but still here,” Janelle shared that “it was an honor” to grace the magazine’s cover, especially “at this time in my life," as it was something she had always hoped to one day do.
Janelle also shared that she still gets nervous but in a different way, and talked about how her single “Lipstick Lover” was about “capturing a moment… a feeling… a yearning… and experience.”
“I definitely have ended up with lots of lipstick kisses on my neck, and I’ve given some too, so it was me just taking moments that I’ve had and just writing a song about that.”
While it’s currently Pride Month across the country, and many are celebrating, our nation still remains divided as many want to silence the voices of LGBTQ+ communities, leaders and authors. Sharing her opinion about it Janelle said, “I think that its all evil… nothing about transphobia is good for this country… This country should absolutely be doing everything in its power to be protecting the human rights of all of us… not some… all.”
“Being a part of this community, I have dedicated my life to fighting for the protection of us and other marginalized groups,” Janelle added. “Not only does that affect just Black and Brown and all of us in that community, but Black folks not being able to talk about Black History. You know, critical race theory is being banned. You can’t talk about certain books that are uplifting for us. Not talking about history, American History, will only lead to a horrible future. Like how can you correct the mistakes of the past when you’re trying to erase it."
Janelle also went on to share her view on how the younger generation will embrace humanity differently, what she wants young people to remember about being their true selves, and loving others. Plus how she’s beyond ready for her “baby” (aka her album) to finally be out in the world. For all that and more including some The Age of Pleasure rapid fire questions, check out the entire interview above.