Janelle Monáe On Her Return To Music With ‘The Age Of Pleasure’
Janelle Monáe has given a new interview to Rolling Stone in which she discusses her return to music with new album The Age Of Pleasure.
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Monáe discussed the album title, suggesting that it reflects a change of perspective and priorities in her life, “I think being an artist gets lonely. Most people don’t understand what’s going on in my brain. Community has been so helpful to me; it’s beautiful that I have a title called The Age of Pleasure because it actually re-centers me. It’s not about an album anymore. I’ve changed my whole lifestyle.”
The Age Of Pleasure is the singer’s first album in five years and follows a period of success as an actor, starring in the hit thriller Glass Onion. She said that one of the motivations for making new music was to have material to play at parties, “I was like, ‘OK, if we have a party in spring of 2022, I want to have records ready.’‘I want to honor this experience, and be really specific about it.’ The best way to figure it out? ‘Let’s play that shit at the party.’”
Monáe also reflected on the inspiration behind her new material, “I want things to feel so true to my life. I used to consider myself a futurist. I know what that means, to obsess about the next thing. A present tourist is what I’m calling myself right now. I’m actively focusing on being present.”
Discussing the pressures of combining music and acting, Monáe admitted she needed help to balance schedules, “In those moments, I have to have someone helping me work through my schedule, helping me not feel guilty about saying no to something, because all this affects your mental health… Not a lot of people have the luxury of saying or doing what it is I’m doing. I think that therapy, life coaching included, should be free for every American,” she says. “There’s so many people walking around wounded emotionally. We would be better as a country, as a planet, if everybody had the access.”
Monáe also gave an insight into her daily routine, “I’m working out between 9:30 a.m. and 10:30, somewhere between that, because I’m going to bed at 1:00 or 2:00 if I’m really locked in,” she says. She often listens to Spotify’s playlist of rap by women, Feeling Myself, while she does full-body, high-intensity interval training. Next, she practices guitar, then eats around noon, then practices piano for 45 minutes. After that, she pencils in some time to make something beautiful: “I don’t care if it’s me doodling. Making things brings me purpose.”