Janelle Monae. 2018 Vanity Fair Oscar Party following the 90th Academy Awards held at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts.

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Janelle Monaé Says "Soul Is Honesty"

July 1, 2018

By Scott T. Sterling

The future of soul is now in the shape of Janelle Monaé.

The Kansas City native now based in Atlanta has reimagined R&B into a dazzling panoramic, pansexual universe where truth and love rule the day. Monaé’s 2018 full-length, Dirty Computer, is a step into her world—a world where Brian Wilson harmonizes with Pharrell Williams, and kindred spirits like Grimes and Zoe Kravitz add their own flavors into the mix.

“Soul is honesty. It’s authenticity,” Monaé told The Wave in an exclusive interview. “Soul comes from a very pure place. We all have it. We just have to tap into it.”

Championed by such legends as Prince and Stevie Wonder, Janelle Monaé is the latest in a long lineage of soul pioneers who dared to venture into the furthest reaches of creativity. Labelle, Brides of Funkenstein, and Grace Jones are among the artists whose influence can be felt in her music.

Related: Janelle Monae Worked With Prince on Forthcoming Album 'Dirty Computer'

Currently wrapping up the first leg of her Dirty Computer tour with a show in Atlanta on August 4, Monae is set to be among the headliners at this year’s AFROPUNK Festival in Brooklyn, NY. Erykah Badu, Jaden Smith, Lola Wolf, Miguel and Tyler, the Creator will also appear at the two-day event over the August 25-26 weekend.