Janelle Monáe: ‘I feel a responsibility to knock the hell out of the bully’

The musician and actor is set to release her politically-charged new album next month

Janelle Monáe has discussed the motivations behind her upcoming new album ‘Dirty Computer’.

The record, from which she recently released two tracks in ‘Django Jane’ and ‘Make Me Feel’, is set for release on April 27. It will also be accompanied by a film.

Speaking to Annie Mac on BBC Radio 1, the musician said the album saw her respond to the current political and social situations in the US. “There were a lot of times I would stop recording [and] I would be deeply upset, angry,” she said. “Living over in America and feeling like the people I love were pushed to the margins of society by the leader of the free world and that regime.

“You do have to stand up for those who can’t often stand up for themselves, so I do feel a responsibility to knock the hell out of the bully.”

Discussing ‘Django Jane’, she explained the track was a response to “feeling like my rights as a young black woman are constantly being trampled on”. “I’m angry at many of the things that I hear coming out of the mouths of people in the position of power,” she said. “I’m tired of the abuse of power. I’m tired of so many things.”

She continued: “But at the end of the day, I do believe that we are on a shift change. Women are uniting, we’re realising we’re stronger together, we’re more powerful together, that we really can get [things] done when we are aligned, and so ‘Django Jane’ was important to say that.”

Speaking to Zane Lowe on Beats 1 earlier this year, Monáe 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.