Janelle Monáe released two songs from her forthcoming album Dirty Computer and we already cannot wait for its April 27 release. Each song, "Django Jane" and "Make Me Feel," was released alongside opulent, visually stunning music videos. The latter, a mesmerizing return to '80s dance music, sounds like it could have been written by Prince. Turns out, it was in part.
Straight from Prince's archive, "Make Me Feel" and it's incisive synth beat are a perfect fit for Monáe's stylistic sensibilities. Who else could pull it off the way she does? It is as if this song was meant for her all along. DJ Lenka Paris shared on her Facebook that she first heard the song at a small party hosted by Prince before he passed. The accenting electric guitar is so indicative of the music legend. "He gave that to her," she wrote recalling his creative genius. The album will be her third solo effort and is set to be accompanied by a "narrative film project," according to NME. If it is anything like the first two singles, Monáe is making a strong case to be the soundtrack of 2018.
In an interview on Beats 1 with Zane Lowe, Monáe said that she "always knew" that she "had to make this album." In fact, the concept and title for Dirty Computer predates her first album and represents her most vulnerable work as a musician. A self-proclaimed "self-editor," the singer revealed that she is choosing honesty over mystery with this album. "I know that there are a lot of things that I haven’t discussed and I think this is the album that you’ll get an opportunity to get a closer glimpse into my mind and into my heart," said Monáe in the interview. It has been five years since her last album, The Electric Lady, was released.
When pop icon Prince passed away in April 2016, he left are "thousands upon thousands" of tapes in vaults at his home in Minnesota known as Paisley Park, reports Rolling Stone. In an interview with BBC Radio 1's Annie Mac, Monáe revealed that Prince worked with her on Dirty Computer. The two had a close relationship. In an interview with The Guardian, Monáe said, "I wouldn’t be as comfortable with who I am if it had not been for Prince."
A teaser trailer for Dirty Computer was released last week on Monáe's YouTube channel. The "emotion picture" as she calls it, seems fast-paced, futuristic, and surreal in a similar vein as Black Mirror's San Junipero. While the album's release date is set for the end of April, the film release date has yet to be confirmed. During her BBC Radio 1 interview, she made it clear that each of the singles are part of the larger narrative of the album, alluding to it being more of a concept album explaining, "Once you hear it in the context of the album, I think you'll get a greater understanding...for now, jam."
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