Having begun teasing her forthcoming new album Dirty Computer, Janelle Monáe recently spoke with BBC to talk about the project and how the current political and social climate in America influenced it.
“There were a lot of times I would stop recording [and] I would be deeply upset, angry,” Monáe said to BBC Radio 1 host Annie Mac. “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.”
“I wanted to make an album for all the dirty computers of the world,” she continued. “Those who are told that they have bugs and viruses, that they need to fix themselves, that they need to clean themselves. Dirty computers [should] see their bugs and viruses as attributes, as features, as characteristics that help make society great and inclusive.”
The Wondaland Records creator also spoke on being mentored by Prince, as well as being influenced by him as a child.
“He never tried to encourage me to be like him, or to write music like him. It was always, ‘You have something special. I’m here if you need me, but I love what it is that you do,'” she said.
“Prince, you know growing up, was always other-worldly to me, to a point where I was scared of him,” Monáe added. “When I would see his videos on TV they would make me very scared and mainly because I just had never seen a black man express himself in the way that Prince did. He was so free.”