ELLE interview: The musical stylings of Janelle Monáe

ELLE Canada sits down with indie artist Janelle Monáe to talk about confidence, feminism and ambition.

Jan 08, 2013
By
Kathryn Hudson
Photography
John van der schilden

interview-janelle-monae-2.jpgBut 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.

She's that electric performer again - one who knows an audience when she sees one.

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.

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