Janelle Monáe on how Prince influenced the sound of ‘Dirty Computer’


Janelle Monae was feeling Prince vibes for her third album that was released on Friday. She spoke with b1 on how she felt about Prince.

“There’s only one Prince and there will never be another. I had the opportunity to be inspired by Prince like the rest of the world growing up. In fact, I used to be terrified of Prince. I could not watch his videos. I had a dream that he chased me in a purple suit”, she explained.

” It was something about watching this black man, I’d never seen a black man express himself like that, and it scared me. You know I don’t know if it was because maybe I hadn’t been comfortable with tapping into my fearlessness…it’s just like you got the sense that he was a free ass motherf*****, right? And I don’t know if I was ready to tap into my free as motherf***** nature, but I think what I love most is that I got the opportunity to get to know the man who everybody looked at as this mysterious, other-worldly being. You know I did get the opportunity to perform onstage with him”

“In fact, I gave him the first copy of my first album. I gave it to him at Paisley Park, and I got a chance to see that he was such a philanthropic person”, she added.

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“Like he gave, and he didn’t want people to know what he gave. And he’s given a lot to me. Any way that I can honour him, and just remind this generation of how much he paved the way for artists like myself. I mean, there were times that when I ever felt confused on what direction I should take, or if my ideas were too big for the music industry…I knew that was the one person who understood where I was trying to go.”

Janelle Monae holds an uncomparable sound of her own, but the Prince influence on her new album, she definitely owned that too.


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