Seeing Janelle Monáe perform is like watching a firecracker ignite on stage. All that energy and all that star power packed into one stylish package is truly dynamite.
This little seismic powerhouse brought down the house on Friday night when she performed at the Emory University campus as part of the Darfur Now College Tour together with artists like Novel, Anthony David and the one and only Spree Wilson. The tour aims to raise awareness about the genocide in Darfur while simultaneously promoting a new documentary, titled Darfur Now, which will be available on DVD May 27.
I have no doubt Monáe is going to be topping the charts very soon. Not only does the Kansas native have that undefinable "it" quality that stars are made of, she also serves up a fresh, genre-blurring style that people are craving right now. She's is like James Brown, Judy Garland, Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson and Andre 3000 rolled into one, and seeing that all play out live on stage is thrilling. (Get a taste of it here.)
Attended by only a few dozen people, Monáe played a short set that featured songs from her forthcoming big label debut "Metropolis Suite 1: The Chase" including the single “Violet Stars Happy Hunting" and the intensely personal “Sincerely Jane,” a song she also performed with the Atlanta Ballet two weekends back.
Monáe is also emerging as a budding style icon performing dressed in her signature look consisting of waist-high, straight legged pants, miniature bow tie and black and white saddle shoes. Very vintage. Look out for the release of Janelle Monáe's debut album on June 24.
(Thanks to the lovely Ms. Amelia for letting me borrow her camera and roll over the floor with it.)