Janelle Monáe explains artwork for her forthcoming album
Janelle Monáe has spoken about the freedom of nudity in preparation for their forthcoming album.
The 37-year-old non-binary singer, whose fourth album “The Age of Pleasure” is set for release on June 9 via Wondaland Arts Society/Atlantic, told Rolling Stone during an interview that being naked has become a “big theme” in their life as they celebrate a “new era of liberation”. They also shared a behind-the-scenes video from the nude photo shoot for the publication on Instagram on May 22.
“I’m much happier when my titties are out,” Janelle Monáe said, also appearing on the magazine cover wearing nothing but a gold chain headpiece, and covering their breasts with their hands.
According to NME, they also proceeded to explain that they are comfortable in their own skin and have no regrets about baring their breasts.
New single, “Lipstick Lover”, also discusses this and is an ode to queer liberation – accompanied by a decidedly NSFW music video that features them topless at one point.
“The Age of Pleasure” follows Dirty Computer (2018), The Electric Lady (2013), and 2010 studio debut The ArchAndroid.
Monáe has focused more on their acting career in recent years, joining the Knives Out franchise for the sequel film Glass Onion last year.
Far Out magazine, also citing the Rolling Stone interview, writes on the artiste’s relationship with drugs after growing up with parents who they describe as “addicts”.
“I grew up fearful of marijuana because I had parents who were addicts. They would always say, ‘Weed is the gateway drug to being a crackhead’ and I grew up with that in my mind and heart”.
However, after suffering from “anxiety attacks” during the Covid-19 pandemic, Monáe decided to try marijuana.
“I was like, ‘We’re in the middle of a pandemic. I’m not on the road, let me test out weed’,” before stating she later sought out an “emotional support coach”.
Monáe later discussed the importance of mental well-being and explained how they struggled when the press run for Glass Onion coincided with the recording of “The Age Of Pleasure”.
“In those moments, I have to have someone helping me work through my schedule, helping me not feel guilty about saying no to something, because all this affects your mental health.
“Not a lot of people have the luxury of saying or doing what it is I’m doing. I think that therapy, life coaching included, should be free for every American. There’s so many people walking around wounded emotionally. We would be better as a country, as a planet, if everybody had the access.”