Our favorite android/goddess is on the cover of Allure magazine’s “Freedom” issue. They couldn’t have picked a freer spirit to shamelessly speak truth to power through pop music. Her catchy tracks have already wiggled into our brains with beats that will make her new album Dirty Computer a revolutionary battle hymnal for this generation’s army of lovers.
In the Allure profile, Monáe discusses how post-election emotions became a roadblock to her creativity, and she opens up about representation — as a woman, a woman of color, a self-described queer woman.
On her album’s shift in the “second movement”:
“It’s a celebration of being a dirty computer. It’s self-empowerment. When you have songs like ‘Django Jane’, that’s where the pivot happens. It’s like, ‘Whoa. I’m here. I’m choosing freedom over fear’.”
On her post-election emotions:
“I will say that after this election, I dealt with a lot of anger. I dealt with a lot of frustrations, like many of us, when it came to the nonleader of the free world and that particular regime.”
On how results of the presidential election affected her ability to create:
“I felt it was a direct attack on us, on black women, on women, on women’s rights, on the LGBTQIA community, on poor folks. I felt like it was a direct attack saying, ‘You’re not important. You’re not valuable and we’re going to make laws and regulations that make it official and make it legal for us to devalue you and treat you like second-class citizens or worse.’ I got to the point where I stopped recording because I was just like, ‘I’m going to make an angry album.’”
On viewing the world from the margins:
“We don’t get that same grace. That’s just honest. People need to look and assess those privileges that the majority of white people in this country have versus––” [Monáe trails off]. “We just need to really have a conversation on this and understand it’s a real thing. We don’t get second chances in the same way that white folks do, period.”
On the risk of living openly and freely:
“There’s lots of fears that I have about just living openly and freely and criticizing those who are in the position of power. You just never know. You never know what could happen when you are outspoken. It’s a risk. It’s a risk that I’ve prayed on and I’m willing to take.”