This month Janelle Monet is covering Uptown Magazine’s October/November 2013 issue, and inside shes turning up the heat as she reveals her frustration with being asked the same questions in every interview and repeatedly having to explain what type of artist she is. Once again she avoided the question about her sexuality, but she did inform us that she was a ghetto black girl underneath it all.
On being tired of explaining herself as an artist
Yes. Interviews are like marriages sometimes, and things become old. It’s time to spruce up this sex life! We need to try some new things. I am always asked, “Why do you wear that tuxedo?” Or, “We know that your parents wore uniforms, is that why you wear a uniform?’ I want to tell them, “You know good and darn well [a scant southern accent emerges] that you read that somewhere! I am wondering “Why are you asking me the same question?” Let’s talk about the music, the message and why my eyelashes are long!
I am constantly growing at a very rapid speed. But hell, I don’t even understand myself at times. As I continue to grow into Janelle, so will everyone else. But everything is authentic and honest, I will say.[...]It is my goal to mislead you into believing one thing. There has to be some misinformation out there about Janelle Monáe.
On the biggest misconception about her
People think I am so straitlaced and buttoned up. There is a lot of life underneath this tuxedo. I like to have fun. I enjoy practical jokes. I enjoy rolling around the mall in wheelchairs. I enjoy taking someone’s baby and putting it on my hip for about two hours straight and then giving it back.
On her sexuality
I only date androids, she deadpans. But when pressed to elaborate, she quips: “Was that even me that day? Who knows? I have clones, and they all come out and fight. Maybe that’s why I wear this tuxedo. There may be an ancient Chinese man fighting this rich African queen to get shine. I think it is so boring to be figured out in one conversation.
On Diddy’s role in her career:
He is the ambassador and protector of the jam. He makes sure that our ideas get out into the world. He is not involved creatively. He is the spokesperson for corporations when it’s time to talk business. When we don’t want to have conversations with suits, he goes in and slaps people for us. He is our highest professional slapper. He slaps anyone that tries to mess up the jam.
On not wanting to meet anyone who calls her a hero
But if I am anyone’s hero, please don’t meet me. Stay away. I am not what you think I am. We keep coming back to this notion of identity. Honestly, I am just a ghetto black girl underneath it all. My tuxedo is supposed to make me look refined.[...]I will never ever suppress who I am for anyone. Karl Lagerfeld would not change his ponytail or his black and white wardrobe for anyone. But the next person that asks me about wearing a tuxedo, I will give them a hug and then a slap.
On her social responsibility as a celebrity
If I were not a woman, or African-American, or have people in my life that have not been directly discriminated against, then I would not feel a social responsibility. When you love and care about people and you see young people dying, it’s impossible to ignore. Let me be clear: When I speak of androids, I am speaking of the new form of the ‘other.’ You can parallel that to people who are gay or lesbian, those whose skin is considered too dark; women still are not receiving equal rights. I write music that fights against self-hate. It is about loving yourself even if it makes others uncomfortable.