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Going Androidgenous: talking with cyberfunkstress Janelle Monae.

MJ: Bradford Cox of the band Deerhunter has called you the next David Bowie.

JM: I'm sure he meant well by it, but that isn't my goal. I like David Bowie, though. I guess if I got a sex change, that could work out.

MJ: Your recent album The Arch Android is inspired by Fritz Lang's Metropolis.

JM: It was a black-and-white silent film, but it spoke out. There was in particular a quote that said "the mediator between brain and muscle must be the heart," and I said, "That's me!" I want to create a purple state, not cater to just a red one or a blue one.

MJ: What draws you to sci-fi?

JM: Science fiction: I really hate that phrase---as if it can't happen. I feel like this world of androids and cyborgs will be created very soon because of nanotechnology and things becoming smaller and faster. Futurist Ray Kurzweil says androids' knowledge will surpass ours.

MJ: Tell us about your deal with Diddy's Bad Boy label.


JM: I have a wonderful relationship with Sean Combs, but my own label, Wondaland Arts Society, makes all the executive decisions.

MJ: You've said you can get in anywhere wearing a tux. What would you say to tuxedo-clad lesbians barred from their senior proms?

JM: Don't allow anyone to dim their light. Part of what my music represents is to stand up and be the voice of those who feel like they are not heard and want to be treated with respect regardless of race, color, orientation--android, cyborg, whatever.

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Article Details
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Title Annotation:MEDIA + CULTURE
Author:Rossi, Victoria
Publication:Mother Jones
Article Type:Interview
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2010
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