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With comparisons merging between Lauryn Hill, Annie Lennox, James Brown, David Bowie and Andre 3000, multi Grammy nominee neo-soul singer Janelle Monáe (born 1 December 1985) from Kansas, US also known as her android counterpart Cindi Mayweather has collaborated with the likes of Estelle and Fun adding her unique touch.
It was her move to Georgia, US after studying at drama school that her career really kicked off. Meeting Bad Boi of Outkast in 2001, together they created the Wondaland Art Society with like-minded individuals. Describing her genre as bending, Monáe meanders through elements of psychedelic soul, jazz and old school R&B while remaining a conceptualist through and through. Using the alter ego of android Cindi Mayweather from the year 2719 who is on the run from her home planet of Metropolis for breaking the law and finds herself on earth falling in love with human Anthony Green, a storyline which provided the backbone of her debut self EP “The Audition” in 2003.
With a little nudge from friend Bad Boi, Sean Combes aka P. Diddy and CEO of Bad Boy Records checked out Monáe’s Myspace page and was mesmerised. In 2007 she signed with his label and released her second EP “Metropolis: The Chase Suite” the following year, a continuation of the Mayweather saga. The EP earned her a nomination at that year’s Grammy’s with the single “Many Moons” for “Best Urban/Alternative Performance”.
In 2010 Monáe released her debut full-length album “The ArchAndroid” peaking at number 17 in the US charts featuring the singles “Come Alive (The War of the Roses)”, “Tight Rope” and “Cold War”. Three years later came the release of her second album “Electric Lady” which saw her collaborations include Solange Knowles, Miguel and Prince. Monáe has also enjoyed success featuring on Estelle’s “Do My Thing” and Fun.’s “We Are Young” as well as sharing the stage with: Katy Perry, No Doubt, Bruno Mars and Red Hot Chilli Peppers to name a few.
A Cover Girl spokeswoman, style icon with her signature fashion inspired by Grace Jones and Josephine Baker and now adds label owner as 2015 saw Monáe joins forces with Epic Records and CEO LA Reid to launch the independent label Wondaland Art Society.