Filed Under:

'Electric Lady' Janelle Monae On Creating The Unheard

Play associated audio

Janelle Monáe's music is often called futuristic. That's partly due to her subject matter: Her breakthrough releases, the 2007 EP Metropolis and the 2010 album The ArchAndroid, form a connected story arc about a robot who falls in love with a human. But moreover, the work of the 27-year-old singer is difficult to classify — rooted in R&B but pulling from too many different genres to count.

Monae's latest album, The Electric Lady, is out Tuesday, and features appearances from some fellow envelope-pushers. Jazz bassist Esperanza Spalding and R&B singer Miguel both feature on the record, as do Monáe's mentor Erykah Badu and an unexpected fan: Prince.

"With this particular album, I wanted to go through R&B music that ranges from people like Bo Diddley to Jimi Hendrix to classical music," Monáe says. "That's what I love doing, is playing with all these different styles of music and creating something that just has not been heard."

Janelle Monáe recently spoke with NPR's Jacki Lyden about growing up in a big working-class family, making friends with her idols and performing at the White House. Click the audio link to hear more of their conversation.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

With A Little Magic, Small Budget Horror Films Pack A Big Punch

NPR's Ari Shapiro talks with Jason Blum, founder and CEO of Blumhouse Productions, about the magic of micro-budget horror films.
WAMU 88.5

Is Virginia The Birthplace Of Southern Barbecue?

We speak with two food writers about tracing the roots of barbecue to local Powhatan Indian slow-cooking.

WAMU 88.5

Results From Congressional Primary Races And New Concerns About Hacks Into State Voting Systems

Join us to discuss results from primary challenges to Republican Senator John McCain, Democratic Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz and others and new concerns possible Russian hackers breaking into U.S. state voting systems.

WAMU 88.5

Results From Congressional Primary Races And New Concerns About Hacks Into State Voting Systems

Join us to discuss results from primary challenges to Republican Senator John McCain, Democratic Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz and others and new concerns possible Russian hackers breaking into U.S. state voting systems.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.