Reason #2: Janelle Monae
Anyone who frequents this blog regularly might be surprised to learn of my Monae love. This is an alternative music blog - Ms. Monae fits much more comfortably into an r 'n' b bracket surely?
Despite this, there is something so incredibly infectious about the rhythms and the beats that adorn Janelle's sound. How she is slipping under the radar of the masses is beyond me - her debut full-length release in Ireland, The ArchAndroid, peaked at number 24 in the charts.
There is so much to take from the work of Janelle Monae: her sound is clearly more indebted to older styles - think motown and classic hip-hop rather than Rihanna. As well as this, she has worked heavily with the creative genius that is Big Boi (Outkast) - the record clearly benefits from this intrusion. It takes all the best points of the work of Outkast and Big Boi's solo work. The single Tightrope features the man himself as is possibly the most accessible and infectious track since Outkast's Hey Ya!
And there's that word again - infectious. It is simply unavoidable. You listen any of the tracks from The ArchAndroid and they'll still be rattling about your head hours later.
Perhaps one of the more intriguing aspects of Monae is her alter-ego Cindi Mayweather. In essence, The ArchAndroid is the culmination of the on-running story of Ms. Mayweather. The album is heavily inspired by the classic Metropolis (1927) - everything from cover art to the basis of the songs. How often do you hear of Beyonce basing her albums around classic science-fiction?
Monae is that very rare thing nowadays - an r'n'b singer noted for her talents, rather than her appearance. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the attraction to the likes of Beyonce, etc. but it is so refreshing to come across a female singer achieving her success through the most basic of things - her ability to perform her music.
She is noted for her live performances, referred to a "magnetising" by Niall Byrne of http://www.nialler9.com/.
A really unique quantity in the modern musical scene, she is an artist who benefits who benefits from being equal parts progressive and retro. A performer in the truest sense, she seems to be the heiress to the crown of funk, soul and all things hip-hop. Prince, Stevie Wonder, Bowie... The list goes on. Monae is set to be an unstoppable juggernaut.
Catch her the Friday of Electric Picnic and I dare you to not fall in love...
Similar Artists at EP'10: Brian Deady, Messiah J & The Expert, Cymande II, Fat Freddy's Drop.
- Cork, Ireland
- An Irish based alternative music blog. Music news, gigs, live reviews, album reviews... You'll find them here. If you want anything featured or removed, please shout. I hope you'll discover something new to love on this little experiment of mine. Currently editing the Music Section of the UCC Express and contributing to Motley magazine on campus, as well as writing for PopCultureMonster and 4FortyFour. Always looking for new projects so please get in touch if interested. Thanks for reading.