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Posts Tagged ‘Janelle Monae’’

Icon in the Making

In Communication, Griot, Movies, Music, News, Self Improvement on October 20, 2013 at 3:03 pm

Janelle Monae’ inspires herself.

The new face of Afro-Futurism

The new face of Afro-Futurism

This is not to say that she’s an egoist or that she doesn’t take inspiration from life and objects around her. But it is to say that in her own struggle to complete the painting and to name the colorful woman depicted, she wound up jpenning an album. And not just a regular ole two-major-hits album, The Electric Lady offers 12 tracks of great listens.

Under Big Boi’s esoteric tutelage, she’s had several well received projects; however, the this is the one that will probablhy launch Monae’ , 27, from underground indie-cool popularity to NBA Finals halftime show superstardom. Yes, it’s that good, and yes, she’s that good live. It also doesn’t hurt that she snagged Prince as a collaborator and didn’t shy away from instructing him on how to improve his studio sound.

Nervy? Hell, yeah. But tha’s Monae’. “I love to collaborate with people I admire,” says the Kansas City, Kan., native and Cover Girl model, wearing her traditional black and white , topped off by a slightly cat-eyed pair of Prada sunnies. She partnered with Erykah Badu, Solange, Miguel and Esperanza Spalding on The Electric Lady. working with Prince was similarly “organic,” she says. “I’m still pinching myself. You need to have vision when you come to him. He does not do a lot of collaborations.”

Janelle Monae' said

As one of the young heralds of Afrofuturism, and old-yet-renewing movement embracing a combination of magical realism, sci-fi, space is firmly cemented. She’s been compared to Sun Ra, the creator of musical Afrofuturism. She loves Octavia Butler who wrote science fiction novels featuring Black characters and ex-anime Black history in the same breath. She’s a tremendous fan of Star Wars and performed at the recent wedding of George Lucas and Melody Hobson. And, as she ponders ideas such as time travel and androids, she paints futuristic sketches with images portraying us as “Electric” people wanting to be named, freed or discovered.

“I do Afro punk,” says Monae’ referring to futurism. “I have an Afro, so why now? I think it’s important to bring awareness. It’s important to show us a Black woman, as a Black people, in different lights.”

A common theme in all of MOnae’s music is a celebration of individuality, which is why her robotic focus on her debut studio album, The Arch-Android, was a bit ironic. She sticks to that motif this time around but is adding quite a bit of sass and sex, as is obvious in her MTV Video Music Award-winning vidoe for Q.U.E.E.N., with Badu.

Most ideas come after she works in her personally prepped recording studio utopia, Wondaland, in Atlanta.

“I’m dealing with politics, love heartbreak and sexuality, all those things we privately have,” says Monae’, describing her album in staccato. She then demurely declines to talk about her love life, only adding this: “It is about loving yourself as much as you can.”

[Ref. Source: Ebony Magazine]

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Janelle has it going on – the mic is her vocal toy.
How genius of her to hook up with ATL’s Big Boi.

He’s all about producing. His individuality is truly valiant,
and he rarely misses an opportunity to sign award winning talent.

I’m watching Big Boi and I am taking notes too,
I’m seeking talent to shape tomorrows film truths.

Talent must be bold, daring and trend set.
Must write and produce scripts they’ve never met.

Must surpass the Steven’s: Spielberg and King.
Must go forward like the will of OWN and reel the whole thing.

Be they eccentric or on some new stuff,
they must be resilient – the industry is rough.

Janelle is on it. She’s working within her purpose.
I’m Qui
On my joint too: shaping the youth via my surplus.

Icon in the making?
The role is yours for the taking.
Do you want it?

Walking the Plank

In Communication, Griot, Movies, News, Self Improvement, TV Shows on October 18, 2013 at 2:49 pm

WalkThePlank

Arrrgh! I’m being blessed to walk the plank 
and I have Derek Neighbors and Rich Frazier to thank.

Yes, I’m a pirate but I don’t wear a patch,
for reel creative vision isn’t something I lack.

A chance to collab and give back – thus I’m building a scene
of talented crew members, none above the age of teens.

I’m feeling like Janelle Monae‘, I’m on a futuristic thing.
I’m looking for the next Spike Lee, John Singleton and Steven King.

I’m looking for the next Shonda Rhimes and Oprah Winfrey too.
I’m looking for those future creative minds; does one belong to you?

I needed a place to house future talent in
that’s when GangPlank stepped up and called me ‘friend.’

Therein is collaborative work space shared by many minds;
Collab not compete – what a productive environment find.

The awesome studio that has been given to me to use
cost me nothing in paper – so how could I refuse?

So I put on my pirate wardrobe and joined others at the plank.
My heart is grateful – to my mission I’m faithful & I have Rich & Derek to thank.

The Law Of Attraction

Who knew, that when I offered my help to this seasons Youth Advisory Council that I’d be paired up with one  of Chandlers hottest fundraisers whilst we interviewed incoming members? During a brief intermission in our interviewing process I mentioned to Rich Frazier that I wanted to bring back those awe inspiring ABC After School Specials of yesterday (1972-1997) but produce them with a full teen production crew. I figured I was just airing out my thoughts, my wishful thinking, however, by the end of our interviewing session Rich reached into his pocket and pulled out a card and handed it to me, asking, “Qui, do you ever need a producer for any of  your Qui Films projects?” A producer? Who doesn’t need a producer? I can’t tell you how long Rich stood there with his card in his hand waiting for my response, because I was in my mind pondering, ‘Does he really mean a producer? Does he know the hard work that film producers do? Is he pulling my leg?’. None of that actually came out of my mouth, but then suddenly as if a switch inside of me overrode my internal pondering, I turned to Rich and said in my (honest to God) Scooby Do voice, “Well yes I do.” Rich’s facial expressions did not respond to the voice I answered him in, he just smiled and continued to extend his hand to me with his business card. I snatched it from his fingers – quick – and put it in my wallet, saying nothing more. As we exited the interviewing room, Rich said to me, “Qui we should get together and grab a cup coffee or something.” I, (still stunned a bit), replied “Absolutely Rich and we shall.”

connecting people and professionsI emailed him a coffee date inquiry that same night and he responded within 8 hours with a date. We met. We sipped the bean (for an hour and a half) and by the end of our sip Rich contacted 3 of his associates that he thought could be of help to me in establishing my dream.  4 hours later Derek Neighbors  emailed me and offered studio space inside of their downtown GANGPLANK building. I’m still stunned.

What is GangPlank? Wow! It’s an awesome concept for the creative types, like myself. They introduce their mission as:
“Creating quality jobs and opportunity by focusing on people. GangPlank provides the physical infrastructure for those entering the new economy. We are a space for innovative ideas to spawn from new collaborations, existing businesses to grow and established companies to support future entrepreneurs. We have more than 25 mentors specializing in operations, finance, legal and design/marketing volunteering their time to move these companies forward and increase the retention rate of smart minds in Arizona. By providing mentoring, educational opportunities and connecting people, GangPlank supports those considering starting companies, as well as those already in business, to be more successful.”

And so, in my effort to help YAC, Rich ended up helping me.
I told him, I’d charge the kids nothing – and he found me a studio for FREE.

You get what you give – be it add or subtraction.
I’m always giving my best – The Law Of Attraction.

There’s no other way in the world I could have come across such a blessing.
I’m Qui
Thanking God for providing for me – with absolutely no corporate stressing.

And now I’m a creative pirate of sorts – and I have the Law of Attraction to thank.
I’m also grateful to Rich Frazier, Derek Neighbors and those creative collabors at the plank.

Arrrrgh! Walk it with me
as we make REEL teen history.

5-4-3-2-1
It’s time for ACTION that equals reel fun.