I stumbled upon Janelle Monae earlier while looking for natural hair inspiration. It has been decided my big chop will happen in about a week. So, the first I knew of her was due to the pile of gorgeous natural coils she is notorious for wearing in a dramatic pompadour. As it happens she is also a singer, and something of an innovative musician at that. I could not be more delighted!
Serendipity has brought me an artist that aligns with my tastes in several ways. Her alternative approach in general is refreshing and very appealing. From her natural hair, to her gender bending fashion, to the constructed a reality in which her art resides, Janelle Monae is counter. And I like it, I like it a lot. Her artistic space is titled Metropolis [inspired by the 1920's expressionist film]. It's a mixture of cyberpunkish futurism and retro aesthetic.
She has collaborated with Outkast, themselves known for doing things their own way, and she allegedly impressed Sean Combs enough for him to say she was "one of the most important signings of my career." The dynamically soulful quality of her voice puts me in mind of Gnarls Barkley, a group I also find highly inspiring and ground breaking.
Other than 'Many Moons', for which I've included the video above, I recommend her songs 'Tightrope' [with Outkast] and 'Cold War'. These are all off of her album Archandroid, set to be released May 18th.
And, of course, the pompadour she's known for.