Janelle Monae Interview for Elle Canada February 2013

 On being a responsible role model:
“You have to protect your heart and your spirit so you’re not tainted by money, greed, power, arrogance…. I don’t get off on those things…I have responsibilities to make sure I’m setting an example. I have a responsibility to my community. I have a responsibility to tell the universe a story in an unforgettable way.”
Going further into her thoughts about being an example, Monáe spoke about the people she’s hoping to reach with her music and her story:
“I really want to open doors for all those starting to have their voice…. I want to speak to my cousins who are still in Kansas and feel like they don’t have anyone; I want to speak to the young lady who is trying to understand who she is and how she’s going to follow her dreams living in a disadvantaged environment.”
The most interesting part of her interview though, came when Monáe discussed why she stays decked out in her black and white ensembles, and how she can do so without losing her ever-loving mind (since variety is the spice of life). She finally shows a bit of cockiness while explaining why her look will never get old:
“The colours come out in your music, the colours come out in your personality, the colours come out in performance. I started wearing this uniform, to be perfectly honest, because I have an amazing body. I’m serious – I’m not playing. When I look at myself in the mirror, I’m attractive. I really have a nice body. And I had to pick: Do I want them to focus on my body? Do I want them to focus on how curvy and really, really gorgeous my figure is? Or do I want them to look at my music? What has more value? And I made that decision. I want them to focus on the message and the music because I feel like I have a higher calling.”

 Interview: Clarke Gail Baines
 Photography: John Van Der Schilden


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