In Conversation with Janelle Monáe
Global icon Janelle Monáe is renowned as a musician, actor, New York Times bestselling author, and activist. Monáe is heralded for their artistry and advocacy for the LGBTQ+ community and social movements toward justice and liberation. Drawing on her award-winning career as a musician and actor, her bestselling Afrofuturist short story collection The Memory Librarian, and her philosophy as an activist, Monáe shares profound insights that inspire and energize audiences of all kinds.
Janelle Monáe’s debut short story collection The Memory Librarian explores Afrofuturism and liberation
Award-winning musician and actor JANELLE MONAE is now a New York Times bestselling author, following the release of their debut queer Afrofuturist short story collection, The Memory Librarian: And Other Stories of Dirty Computer. The Memory Librarian explores what it’s like to live in a totalitarian existence – and what it takes to get out of it – drawing on the powerful themes and artistic genius that have made Monáe a global icon.
As a child, Monáe’s family recognized their creative gifts – as the multi-talented artist told to The New York Times, “I was probably in elementary school going into middle school when I wrote this story about my grandmother being abducted by aliens. That was the first time my family was like, OK, you have a very strong, interesting, scary-at-times imagination.” Now her co-written collection, which explores different threads of liberation – queerness, race, gender plurality, and love – has spent five weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, and was heralded by Forbes as “a sexy, soulful, and dissident collection of tales.” Monáe is a highly sought-after speaker for her profound insights about creativity, activism, and liberation, which make an impact with audiences of all kinds.
A singer, songwriter, producer, and performer from Kansas City, Kansas, Janelle’s innovative style melds a redefined pop sensibility with an extraordinary mash-up of soul, funk, and rock n’ roll.
Monáe’s debut album “The ArchAndroid” was released to widespread acclaim, earning her multiple Grammy nominations, and the title of “The #1 Album of 2010” by The Associated Press, The Guardian, The Chicago Tribune, and The Los Angeles Times. Monáe was also a recipient of the 2011 ASCAP Vanguard Award, and was included in the first-ever “Women Who Rock” exhibit at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame earlier that year. A dynamic performer and artistic entrepreneur, Ms. Monáe has launched her own record label called the Wondaland Arts Society, and has performed worldwide with artistic legends such as Stevie Wonder and Prince.
In 2012, Janelle was named the face of Covergirl, and her Sonos ad campaign has garnered over 1.2 million views on YouTube and counting. She has a strong online presence and fan base with over 800,000 likes on Facebook and nearly 600,000 followers on twitter.
In 2013, Janelle launched her second studio album, “The Electric Lady”. The first official single off the album, “Q.U.E.E.N.” has over 10,000,000 views on YouTube. “Yoga,” the second single from Monae’s upcoming Wondaland Records collective EP, “The Eephus” accumulated nearly 5,000,000 views on YouTube in its first month.