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It feels like a while since I last LOST MY MIND over a musician and maybe time has given me extra fuel for how hard I have fallen for Janelle Monáe's incredible music.


It's sort of embarrassing how long it took me to realise how amazing she is, because I was gifted her album The ArchAndroid over a year ago and all I really knew about her was that The Guardian had voted the Album the best of 2010. Now I'd listened to it and really enjoyed it - MAN she was given all of the funk when she was in the queue. This album just makes you want to dance. I've tried to explain her to people and I end up throwing out genres left and right: "it's sort of soul-RnB-rap-funk..." then I get lost and just say SHE'S FLOOPIN AMAZINGGGGG, GO AND SEE HER!!!! The best genre name I saw to describe Ms Monáe was just today: Neo-soul (thanks wiki) I didn't even look up the definition for it. It just sounds right on the money.

So when I'd first heard the album, Tightrope was being labelled the standout song, but to me - Cold War just spoke to me. The lyrics "I was made to belive there's somethign wrong with me" struck a chord. It's like a shouout to all the rejects, outcasts, people who are just other. It felt like a rallying call. Then I saw her live, and the song took on even more meaning - because Janelle give it such a beautiful introduction. She brought me to tears.

There was a time when I was not quite confident with myself. So I wrote this song for you. No matter what you look like, No matter who you love. No matter the texture of your hair. No matter where you're from.
Life can be a cold cold war - mentally. Sometimes. And we better know what we're fighting for.

That rallying cry felt even louder in my head after she's said that - and it makes that song so special to me.

THEN I saw her video for it which...just watch

She has been asked about this video quite often and she has said that this was genuine and unexpected. And it just fit the song - so that's how they kept the video.

I heard her introduce and sing Cold War at Open'er festival in Poland a few months back and I still feel so overcome from that concert - she was incredible. It was such an energetic and impressive show. I have never wanted to dance so much in my entire life (and I have seen quite a few bands - around 200). I was on a high for days after that. She inspires so much...loyalty from me. I can't get enough of her albums and her voice. 
I wrote this in my travel journal the day after I'd seen her (about 10hrs after and with no sleep at all):
I had time before Janelle Monáe to try and find food and came away with a big Zapikanka which I brandished as I ran to the World Stage [where Janelle was playing] and WOW - like holy crap she was amazing! I forgothow much I love her hair and her style and her voice was mindblowing and I totally got my funk onand almost fell over [in the mud] from the vigarous dancing - which was highly noticed by a few people around me. I think Janelle's stage presence was as good as Robyn's [I love that woman so much I've saw her four times last year and still want more] and I totally fell for it all hook line and sinker! I wouldn't have had it any other way! She played all my fave [song]s and ROCKED the Jackson 5 and did a gorgeous intro to Cold War about how it was written when she decided it doesn't matter who you love, what you look like or where you're from. It was beautifully put. Man she can work a crowd. Her footwork was incredible and she played a new song that we got to sing along to (Electric Lady) that ROCKED and at the end she crowd surfed twice and got us all to crouch down! That girl - she knows how to work a crowd! I loved every minute. Best act of the festival Bar None!
...It was the BEST day of music I have ever been to. It was like just when I had my act of the festival, it was topped by the next! I think Janelle Monáe wins, but the XX and Cardigans and Bat for Lashes and Bjork are v close behind. I feel so lucky that I got to see all of these amazing performances. I'll really never find anything to compare to live music. Totally championing Janelle Monáe forever now - that girl is magic!

Yes I was sleep deprived and hyper, but I stand by everything I wrote that morning. Her concept of futuristic Android love and her flawless stage clothes and her brilliant hairstyle. It's all wonderful! I can't listen to Faster without vividly remembering and dancing around just like I did in that muddy field in Poland.

So...treat yo self to some wonderful footwork and a flawless concept album-ing: Many Moons.

BOOM (that's the sound of my mind being blown) - and if your scalp's still hanging on for dear life...try Tightrope.

I cannot recommend her highly enough.


Ladies and Gents: BETTY McRAE

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