The rollout for Janelle Monáe’s new era has certainly been provocative, like with her recent NSFW teaser. Now, things are looking more concrete: Today (May 11), she shared “Lipstick Lover” and announced The Age Of Pleasure, her new album set for this summer. Now, she’s shared some of her thoughts about the project.
In a new interview with Apple Music’s Zane Lowe, Monáe said of the LP and the mindset behind it:
“All the songs were written from such an honest space. Look, it never stops. Even with this album, this project. I’m just like, ‘You know what? It takes work.’ I have to learn things all over again. I have to practice. I have to… and thank God I love the songs. Yeah. So it’s always a fun thing to do to. It’s like starting on a blank canvas.
So I hope that people feel that when they listen to the music, that they feel that when they come and counter with me when I’m around, I definitely have had an opportunity to evolve and grow and to tap into the things that bring me pleasure, the things that perhaps I should rethink and rework. Sometimes it really is just saying, ‘You know what? Let’s get back to the basics and also let’s honor the present.’
So all the songs were written from such an honest space. And what I’m super excited about with The Age Of Pleasure is that… Listen, I’ve had my age of depression. I’ve had my age of anxiety. I’ve had my age of struggle. And again, it’s not like life is pleasurable every single day, but I think I have actively just sought out… How do I create a space for myself? How do I redirect my mind on how I’m thinking about things? How do I realize that right now in this present moment, moments that we’ll never get back, this is where you need to find your pleasure? This is your moment. Don’t let it get confused that five minutes later, we’re going to try to go into doing something different. And again, this is just my experience where I’m at, even through, despite what I may be going through, there’s going to be a moment where this bad moment, I won’t even be around to even discuss it. I won’t.”
She also discussed how playing the album for people at parties helped her decide what songs to include:
“When I was writing ‘The Age Of Pleasure’, I wrote it with friends, four friends. I was just like, ‘If my friends f*ck with this, this is for us,’ because when we are together, I want them to want to play it. And what I would do is if I knew we were having a party on that Friday or Saturday, on Monday and Tuesday, I’d be like, ‘All right, we’re going to write three songs.’ If the songs can’t work at the party, they’re not going on the album. I was like, ‘If people are not trying to Shazam…’ Because I was like, ‘Don’t say it’s me. Don’t.’ If they know… whatever. I need them Shazaming. And so I have my friend who’s my DJ. He worked on some of the songs on the project with me. I was like, ‘Just play it. Put it after this song.’ We put it in the setlist. And that’s how we made the album. I was walking around. I was so scared. I almost went to the bathroom one time. But ‘Float,’ we did that. ‘Lipstick Lover,’ we did like that. I have a song called ‘Champagne Machine’ that’s on there. I don’t want to give away too much, but basically every song that you’ll hear on the project, that’s how I did it. I want it to be so specific to this Pan-African crowd who are my friends. I want it to be a love letter to the diaspora. And if they f*ck with it, it’s good. I’m great.”
Check out more from the interview here.
The Age Of Pleasure is out 6/9 via Wondaland Arts Society/Atlantic Records. Find more information here.
Janelle Monáe is a Warner Music artist. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.