Grammy Award-nominated singer, songwriter, and performer.
We’re pretty sure Janelle Monáe is from the future or from a super cool planet that the rest of us are not up on yet. You know – some spot just over in the next galaxy where the music rules and where everyone rocks their own version of the Kia Soul. Janelle has created the sound of how she rolls for us and she calls it “Come Alive (The War Of The Roses).” Take a listen to “Come Alive (The War Of The Roses)” below, download the track and watch the behind scenes video we filmed during the recording process….
Download it here Come Alive (The War Of The Roses)
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Open your minds, earthlings, and prepare to be launched headfirst into an alternate universe. A place where robots fall in love with humans. Where your tour guide into this alternate realm is a demure lil’ thang with a bold set of pipes. “I’m an alien from outer space,” declares Janelle Monáe on the first song of her debut album, Metropolis: The Chase Suite (Special Edition). Yes, Toto, we are no longer in Kansas anymore. Or even planet Earth. Suspend disbelief for a moment, as you’re dropped mid-pursuit into a soaring sci-fi soundtrack. The lush orchestration experiments with elements of musical theater, funk, and the dirty south. At one moment, Monáe’s voice takes on the metallic trill of Shirley Bassey, the next she’s an ethereal siren, followed by a bluesy soothsayer. “No alter ego for me, this android definitely exists,” says Monáe of Cindi Mayweather, the heroine of The Chase. Mayweather, she explains, is an “Alpha Platinum 9000 android.” She is on the run because she’s fallen in love with a human being, a situation that is verboten in the future landscape of Metropolis. If this all sounds like a bit of a stretch for the imagination, it’s just another day in the life of Ms. Monáe, who has always lived by her own compass. Growing up in Kansas City, Kansas, she found an escape from rough surroundings through the excitement of her own imagination. “My father had a drug addiction,” she explains. “Though there were plenty of good days, it really damaged my family. There were times when mentally I had to create my own world.” She discovered a talent for the arts during school, eventually leaving Kansas City for New York’s American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Making the rounds of auditions in the Big Apple proved to be frustrating though. “I wanted to create my own world. I didn’t like that whole typecasting thing,” she explains. On a whim, she left on a flight bound for The Netherlands that fatefully had a layover in Atlanta. “I had an intuition about Atlanta. I knew that really creative people like Outkast had come from here, so my subconscious was telling me that I should stay. I felt like this could be a place where I could start my own movement.” That movement now has a name, The Wondaland Arts Society, operating as a studio and collective as well as Monáe’s record label. A chance meeting at Def Poetry Jam introduced her to soon-to-be Wondaland co-conspirators Chuck Lightning and Nate “Rocket” Wonder. Together they’ve fallen into a starry-eyed creative shorthand, staying up all night to dream up songs. “It was almost like we were connected from another land and God sent us all to work together,” explains Monáe. While Wonder is the musical genius and production guru, Lightning collaborates on the lyrics and the project’s zany sensibility, bringing a cinematic passion to the soundscape. It was Lightning who introduced her to the project’s seminal inspiration, the 1927 silent film Metropolis. The Wondaland Arts Society is an independent record label and mystery school that designs capes for superheroes and art for aliens. Ms. Monáe is credited as one of the society’s chief founders. Check out more from Janelle at jmonae.com or @janellemonae