Janelle Monae Talks What It’s REALLY Like To Work With Diddy And Eating Pancakes With Prince
If you don’t already have Janelle Monae’s new album The Electric Lady, you are truly missing out. It just might be album of the year (I’m torn between it and Justin Timberlake’s 20/20 Experience), but we still have a few months left in 2013 to figure that out. To promote the new disc, the beauty actually hit up The Breakfast Club. And while the show is usually a bit much when it comes to the questions they ask their guests, the hosts were on their best behavior. Well, for the most part (DJ Envy tried to imply she was gay but her facial expression shut that down real quick). Check out what she had to say about what it’s really like to work with Diddy and if she’s on Bad Boy, having jam sessions with Prince, and why sales do matter to her.
Is She on Bad Boy? And What It’s Like Working With Diddy:
“Diddy actually is somebody I have to credit for helping me get my career off the ground. I started my own label a few years back, the Wondaland Arts Society, and Big Boi was working with us, and Puff came down and saw what we were doing and just wanted to help. He said, ‘I don’t want to be involved creatively with anything you guys got going on, I just want the world to know about you.’ So it’s a partnership. I came into the business owning my own label.
It’s a very unique position that I’m very thankful for. I was very anti-major label. I just felt that I didn’t see myself out there. I felt that if I was going to be signed directly to this big machine I would have to change my image, my music and stuff, so I felt the most important thing was getting the music to the people, unfiltered…I’ve been in the unique position to have Puff’s support and Big Boi’s support. They’re executive producing this album. I’m here because artists helped me get to this level.”
How She Became So Close With The Purple One:
“My first nationally released EP, Metropolis, came out and he listened to it. I was actually on tour with Raphael Saadiq and he had his DJ, DJ Rasheeda, she came backstage and said, ‘I have someone who wants to talk to you’ and I’m like, ‘Okay.’ So I get on the phone and this voice…I’m going to do it in my voice, he said ‘I love your voice, I love what you’re doing, I’m happy, I’m proud,’ and ‘Do you want to come over for a jam session?’ So he invited my band and I over for a jam session. We stayed up until seven in the morning just talking and playing music. He took me on tour with him, I did Madison Square Garden and the Forum in L.A.”
Charlamagne: “Did he feed you pancakes?”
“I’ve actually had pancakes. We all did, he’s a great host. But we didn’t play basketball [laughs].
But I’m just humbled and thankful. He doesn’t appear on a lot of albums so just to have his support–again, I’m here because a community of artists have supported me.”
And Why Sales Do Mean Something To Her:
“I need ya’ll support. I have not sold a million albums or 500,000 but I think this music is worth it.”
Charlamagne: “You care about that stuff?”
“I want everybody in the entire galaxy to hear this music. I don’t write music just for myself. I write it to help inspire and heal and to move people, you know what I mean? I want the world to hear about this album.”
And the world needs to quit sleeping and open their ears because she’s one of the most talented artists we have in all of music right now. Click over to the next page to watch her 20-minute interview with Charlamagne, DJ Envy and Angela Yee at Power 105.1.