Janelle Monae stopped by HOT 97 to talk to Nessa on the day of the release of her much-anticipated album, 'Age of Pleasure'. Janelle delves deep into her journey of self-expression and authenticity, speaking candidly about her sexual confidence, her journey to success, and how she has navigated the patriarchy.
From the COVID-19 pandemic to parties for Everyday People, Monae gives an inside look at the creation of her latest album, an experience Nessa describes as "heavenly, peaceful, serene and spicy". She shares the joy and camaraderie she experienced while creating the album with friends and testing it with the very people it was made for.
Speaking passionately about creating a safe space for black and LGBTQIA+ individuals, Janelle tells us, "The age of pleasure is a movement." and emphasizes the importance of black joy and love, stating "When black people can have a safe space, what does that look like?". She extends the conversation to the importance of mental health, advocating for therapy for all, and the need for everyone to tune up mentally, as it determines the quality of life.
Janelle doesn't shy away from vulnerability, sharing her struggles with feeling safe to express herself fully and the pressure to adhere to traditional norms of femininity. "I don’t necessarily have to go into what you look at as a traditional way of being feminine to find my sexy. Whether I’m showing skin or not. I’m the ‘sex sells’, I have the ‘sex sells’,” she confidently states.
But perhaps one of the most powerful statements she makes is, "I have learned that not everybody’s evolution is on the same level as mine… It’s not about you, it’s about us. Making sure we have not betrayed our own bodies…I don’t think in that system, I see and understand it. I will always go inward with myself and not allow projection, the immaturity of some people’s growth to get away from my joy."
Janelle Monae isn't just an artist - she's a force of nature, challenging norms, and transforming the music scene. Tune in to hear her talk about everything from her own personal growth to artificial intelligence. This interview is not just about Janelle Monae the artist, but Janelle Monae the visionary, and how she finds her own 'Age of Pleasure'.