Janelle Monáe: ‘What is a revolution without a song?’

From starring roles in Moonlight and Hidden Figures, to a genre-busting musical career, the actor and singer has always gone her own wayA downside, perhaps, to the sheer imaginative power of Janelle Monáe is that it’s hard not to bring unreasonable expectations to any conversation one has with her.

The musician and actor is on the phone from her home in Los Angeles, where for the last six months she has been sitting out lockdown.

Monáe’s music career is dominated by sci-fi imagery, thrilling story arcs and inventiveness of a kind that has earned her comparisons to Prince, with whom she worked and could go toe-to-toe, not only on talent but also outlandish wardrobe decisions.

The voice on the line, by contrast, is quiet, serious and devoid of all whimsy.

She’s also terrifically earnest.

To give an idea: Monáe is 34 but, asked to confirm her age,

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