Janelle Monae is out of this world. The black-to-the-future style of Bad Boy’s unclassifiable songstress is truly a site to behold. One listen to her EP, Metropolis: The Chase Suite and you’ll see why. But if you still need convincing one look at the Svedka ad like album cover and her all too unique hairdo should seal the deal.
“I actually have a machine I put my head in every morning that does my hair for me,” she says. “I’m serious, I got a machine and it just wraps up my little pompadour and I’m off.”
Given her “robotic futuristic Judi Jetson” steelo we asked Ms. Monae to list her favorite Sci-Fi Movies of all time.
I love Blade Runner. I love the hairstyles in Blade Runner. A lot of the shapes that I use, I got a lot of inspiration from the guy who started making the androids. I got a lot of styles from that movie, so fashion-wise it pushes lots of limits. But the overall story is captivating and just hearing the music from the 80s, how it’s just kinda drugged-out a little bit…Yeah, I just think it pushes a lot of limits fashion wise and the story’s very strong. And it was actually one of the movies when I was writing Metropolis, it was one of our inspirations.
Metropolis, the 1927 German Expressionist film. It was silent and black and white. But it spoke out to me and I connected most with that movie. Because you have the constant struggle of the haves and have-nots. And you know, that still exists today and it just reminded me of growing up around people that were walking dead, and the have-nots who really could not utilize or take advantage of opportunities due to their limited amount of resources and also how they were suppressed or oppressed by the maker. It’s a deep story, I could go on and on about it. Although it didn’t have any words, I got a chance to really use my imagination and interpret it the way that I saw it with my own eyes. As well, I love the compelling story of the freedom fighter, the lady who basically was invented. I’m forgetting names right now, but I love how the son of the creator of this woman android, how he tries to free the have-nots. It’s just a compelling tale of trying to free the slaves and the have-nots and the underground [I think she might have meant underclass] and it ends on a great note. It’s Freder who tries to help free the robot community and things like that.
I love Star Wars. Really the music in Star Wars. I’m a big fan of John Williams and he composed pretty much all the music. And so when I was even writing Metropolis, we were not thinking about this album as just, you know, an album. We were thinking of it as a cinematic experience, from the interludes to everything. Right now, before you called, we were working on a score for Metropolis, an overture that we want to have in addition to the album. So John Williams’ music in Star Wars makes me watch it so much. Over and over and over again.
Back To The Future
Because it was all so very retro…it went through the different decades, which was cool, and I loved how it went from the 50s, into the 60s, 70s, and 80s. And the 80s music was just great, and I think overall it was just so well written. It encouraged me to try to find a time machine. [laughs] Like, I really wanted to start time traveling after I seen that movie.
I loved when Arnold Schwarzenegger was in the mirror and he was trying to fix his eye, his face, you could tell whoever they had playing Arnold Schwarzenegger, they didn’t look anything alike. That’s my favorite part. There’s a scene where he’s in the mirror and it was so bad [laughs] See, they didn’t find someone who looked like him. And so you saw this image of this man you had never seen in your entire life kinda fix Arnold Schwarzenegger’s face. And I thought that was just crazy.
Honorable Mention: The Matrix
I actually have six. I wanted to say it but I think everybody just loves The Matrix. It’s one of those things, everybody says The Matrix. And a true story: when I met the producers Nate “Rocket” Wonder and Chuck Lightning of Wondaland [Arts Society, Janelle’s record label], we had like a Matrix experience when we first really locked eyes. Seriously, it was kinda like we knew we had a mission to accomplish and it was one of those Matrix moments. Since then, all three of us still act like we’ve been in the Matrix, trying to create this album and just the roles that we play in the music industry…