Janelle Monaé has shared the first two tracks from her upcoming record, ‘Dirty Computer’.
The album will be her third solo effort, and is set to be accompanied by a “narrative film project”. A teaser trailer appeared on the musician and actor’s YouTube channel last week (February 16), and was also shown before screenings of Black Panther at US cinemas.
Now, Monaé has released ‘Make Me Feel’ and ‘Django Jane’ – her first new music since 2015 single ‘Yoga’. ‘Django Jane’ finds the musician rapping, “We gonna start a motherfucking pussy riot/We gonna put them on a pussy diet“, and “Black girl magic/Y’all can’t stand it“.
‘Make Me Feel’, meanwhile is a funky R&B track, on which you can hear Prince’s influence. Watch the video for the song, which was co-written with Julia Michaels, below. ‘Dirty Computer’ will be released on April 27, while a release date for the accompanying film will be confirmed soon.
Speaking to Zane Lowe on Beats 1, Monaé said she “always knew” she “had to make this album”. “I actually had this title on this concept before my first album ‘The ArchAndroid’ and it scared me because a lot of the things that I knew that I needed to say were very deep, very personal, from the heart,” she said.
“This is an extremely vulnerable album and it took me a while to make it because I’m a self editor. I self edit myself a lot. I’m like I don’t want to talk about this, I don’t want to talk about that. I had to kind of have people at Wonderland on my team to hold me accountable to it. They were like ‘OK, you said you wanted to make this album before your first album, this is the opportunity for you to just really choose honesty over mystery’. 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.”
The star’s last album ‘The Electric Lady‘ was released in 2013. Since then, she has received acclaim for her film appearances in the likes of Moonlight and Hidden Figures. She also starred in the 2017 TV show Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams.
Last month, Monaé gave a powerful speech about Time’s Up at the Grammys. “Tonight I am proud to stand in solidarity, not just as an artist, but a young woman with my fellow sisters in this room who make up the music industry,” she said, while introducing Kesha’s performance at the New York ceremony.
“We come in peace, but we mean business. And to those who would dare try and silence us, we offer you two words: Time’s up.”