Janelle Monáe Discusses New Album, Prince's Death, And Her Rumored Relationship With Tessa Thompson
Janelle Monáe was recently interviewed by the New York Times, where the artist discussed her forthcoming new album, Dirty Computer; hanging out with Black Panther stars Chadwick Boseman and Lupita N'yongo; and the death of her mentor Prince in 2016.
READ: Janelle Monáe Discusses 'Dirty Computer' And Prince Being Her Mentor In New Interview
"This was the person that I would literally call and talk to about sounds or: 'How should I say this? Is this saying too much?'" Monáe said of the iconic musician, who worked on Dirty Computer prior to his death. "I just never could imagine a time where I couldn't pick up the phone or email him, and he'd contact me right back and we'd talk about all these things that I was unsure of."
The Wondaland Records creator also revealed that Prince's death was the reason why there was a five-year gap between her upcoming Dirty Computer album, and its predecessor, The Electric Lady (which featured Prince).
During the interview, Monáe was also asked about the rumored relationship between her and Tessa Thompson. The latter has appeared in two of Monáe's most recent videos — "Django Jane" and "Make Me Feel" — with Thompson playing the artist's love interest in both.
Monáe, who's always been reserved in discussing her romantic life, evaded the question, responding with: "I hope people feel celebrated. I hope they feel love. I hope they feel seen."
However, Monáe did mention that she was initially worried about what fans and deeply religious Southern family would think about her sexuality.
Dirty Computer drops on April 27. Ahead of the album's release, BET and MTV will air a 44-minute sci-fi short centered around Dirty Computer on April 26. Titled Dirty Computer: An Emotion Picture By Janelle Monáe, the short centers on a "young woman named Jane 57821 (Janelle Monáe), who is living in a totalitarian near-future society where citizens are referred to as 'computers.'" The movie explores "humanity and what truly happens to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness when mind and machines merge, and when the government chooses fear over freedom."
Read the New York Times interview in its entirety here.