Janelle Monáe has returned today (February 16) with a dreamy new single called ‘Float’ – check it out below.
Featuring horns by Fela Kuti’s youngest son, Seun Kuti and his band, Egypt 80, the new song is produced by Nana Kwabena, Nate “Rocket” Wonder and Sensei Bueno.
The song is the musician’s first new music proper since 2018 and has a diverse range of touchstones for its inspiration.
According to a press statement, the song is inspired by: “Muhammed Ali talking shit in Zaire, 1974, Jane’s evolution, Mary Poppins’ umbrella, Aladdin’s magic carpet, Ja Morant’s flotation to the rim while dunking on his ops, Sara Elise’s ropes, excerpts from Paramahmsa Nithyananda’s talks on levitation, Raul’s toast on Dec 1, and Bruce Lee’s mighty philosophy on being ‘shapeless, formless,’ and becoming one with your surroundings, to be like water.”
Take a listen to the song here:
Monáe first teased the release of the new song last week on social media.
“Y’all won,” Monáe wrote on Twitter, announcing the new release. “FLOAT. 2/16.” They also shared a video that featured a clip of the track and Monáe singing along to it with a mic while wearing a checkered furry bucket hat.
Following the release of the musician’s last album ‘Dirty Computer’ in 2018, they have shared four more one-off track releases. ‘Turntables’ appeared on the soundtrack for the Amazon Original movie All In: The Fight For Democracy, while 2021’s ‘Stronger’ appeared on the Netflix series We The People.
‘That’s Enough’ scored the remake of Disney’s Lady And The Tramp, and ‘Say Her Name (Hell You Talmbout)’ served as a protest against police brutality and raised funds for the African American Policy Forum.
In recent years, Monáe has focused on their acting career. In 2019, they starred in Harriet, a film about abolitionist Harriet Tubman, before appearing in The Glorias and Antebellum in 2020. Last year, they joined the Knives Out franchise for the sequel film Glass Onion.
Last month, the star was given the 2023 SeeHer Award at the Critics Choice Awards. The trophy is presented to a person who “advocates for gender equality, portrays characters with authenticity, defies stereotypes and pushes boundaries.”