ELLE Canada sits down with indie artist Janelle Monáe to talk about confidence, feminism and ambition.
But I wonder why she can't challenge people musically while showing some skin. Are the two really mutually exclusive?
Is that not a form of puritanical judgment itself? Monáe seems tired by this line of questioning, though.
"It's not that I never wear miniskirts," she explains.
"Freedom is like air to me. Not being able to make my own decisions would suffocate me. I don't think that a woman should be treated ‘less than' because she has on less clothes or more clothes. But I do understand that we're human and we can get distracted."
The crew on set at the photo shoot is getting edgy. We've been here for hours without so much as a click of the camera.
Monáe's signature coif has had more loving care than a Park Avenue poodle, and she's considered the wardrobe meticulously.
We're jittery when she steps on set; she's got a plane to catch, and the clock is ticking. Then the flash goes off, and I'm dumbstruck.
The shoot is over just as quickly as it started, and everyone is a little breathless.
With a tip of the hat, Monáe is gone - back to Atlanta to finish her album and motivate a generation. But maybe not in that order.
ELLE interview: Chatting with Keira Knightley
ELLE interview: Actress Natalie Portman
Celebrity Style: Meet actress Emily Blunt
ELLE Celebrity interview: Actress Sarah Gadon is one to watch