The inifitely talented Janelle Monae recently stopped by the offices of The Recording Academy in Santa Monica, CA to treat guests to a very special acoustic performance. The organization is located in a gorgeous, multi-story building (I had the honor of visiting back in December) that houses not only offices, but also music listening rooms, an extensive music library and an extended board room with an area where artists come out to play.
Monae performed the touching "Smile" and "Sincerely, Jane," two tracks taken from her debut EP. The artists also sits down to briefly answer five questions, including her take on the overwhelmingly positive response to her debut LP "The ArchAndroid" and the impact of musical theatre on her style and delivery.
Being unique, innovative and forward-thinking in so many different ways, the Atlanta-based artists also comments on her GRAMMY nominiation for "Many Moons" in the "Best Urban/Alternative Performance" category back in 2009. (I greeted her during the ceremony and gave her a big hug, totally rooting for her to take the prize.)
My favorite video is when she explains why she considers both Judy Garland and James Brown her biggest heroes. Her passion and love for the both of them shines right through.
To celebrate the release of her big label debut LP, "The ArchAndroid," Janelle Monae appeared on David Letterman's Late Show last night to perform "Tightrope," which also marked her network TV debut. What a stomping, funkalicious performance that pretty much captures what Monae is all about - great vocals, compelling stage presence, lots of show and a beat to make you move. This would make James Brown very, very proud. Look out for Janelle on The Ellen Show, Lopez Tonight and Last Call with Carson Daily. "The ArchAndroid" train is moving and there's nothing stopping it.
Finally, finally, finally! This LP has been years in the making and I couldn't be prouder of Janelle and her Wondaland team to deliver a piece of work that is nothing short of a masterpiece. I have followed Janelle for years, met her out and about in Atlanta, seen her perform multiple times and even saw her at the GRAMMYs last year when she received her first GRAMMY nomination (the first of many as far as I'm concerned). "The ArchAndroid" is a culmination of hard work, her deep love for music and her uncompromising ambition to bring enlightenment to the pop charts. "The ArchAndroid" is equally provoking, stirring and inspiring. This record will move you - it will make you think, it will make you dance. Do yourself a big mighty favor and download it today. Congratulations, lady!
The super talented Janelle Monae is getting ready to release her official, much anticipated debut LP “The ArchAndroid” next week Tuesday. Creative Loafing’s Ben Westhoff got a good listen and had some very nice things to say about Janelle Monae and her first album in a special cover story this week.
Westhoff writes, “(. . . ) The ArchAndroid's dizzying ambition is refreshing. Monáe may or may not be androgynous, but her music is downright ballsy. Occasionally, critical and commercial opinion collide, on your OutKasts, your Seinfelds, your Radioheads. But in any case, it's refreshing to know that such epic industry forces are willing to take a gamble on a unique talent.”
I like how Westhoff addresses how unique she is compared to the rest of the music scene. “’The ArchAndroid” again has the industry and the media behind it, and it's more than compelling enough to justify the hype. So hopefully the country will get on board this time,” he writes. “Seriously, WTF is wrong with you, America? (. . . ) Equally important is her edgy yet old-fashioned personal style, buttoned-up yet button-cute, a timeless tuxedo look that appeals both to men and feminists tired of the gussied-up Katy Perry types who dominate pop music.”