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31 May 2024

Janelle Monáe: ‘I Think: “How Could I Make Prince Jealous?”‘

Janelle Monáe
Press/Mason Rose
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Janelle Monáe has opened up about the influence of Prince, the inspiration behind her most recent album, The Age Of Pleasure, and looked forward to playing this year’s Glastonbury in a new interview with The Guardian.

When asked for her favourite Prince song and album, Monáe said, “Are you trying to murder me with that question? Prince is a world. I have seasons of songs that I love. I love The Ballad of Dorothy Parker, I love Kiss – Kiss is one of those songs I wish I had written and I’m always trying to come up with good riffs and vocals and drums that feel simple and special like Kiss. It’s the song that I always use as a benchmark. I think: how could I make Prince jealous? We were friends; I had the opportunity to really understand him as the alien, the human, the futuristic person that he was. He understood that working and practising and also being in tune with something outside Earth would only give you the results he had.”

She went on to discuss The Age Of Pleasure, “When I was writing the album, I knew that I wanted my friends and loved ones to love this music. That’s how a lot of the songs were made – they came over and danced to the music before it even had lyrics. Joy was a word that came up a lot as they danced. To be able to gift that to your friends is something I always want to do.”

Monáe also looked forward to returning to Glastonbury festival this summer, “I am so excited to be playing Glastonbury. I’m a pretty unpredictable performer and I think all of us are going to be surprised. Depending on who I look at in the audience things can go left, right, centre, up, down. I could float and land on the top of the stage and then fly to the moon. Then come back down, parachute to the ground, and dig a hole with my wellies and just lie there for an hour. We’ll just have to see what happens.”

Janelle Monáe plays Brixton Academy (29 June), Glastonbury festival (30 June) and Aviva Studios, Manchester (2-4 July). She will also support Coldplay in Lyon, Rome and Dusseldorf, and perform at European festivals

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