How Janelle Monae Lives Her Best Life
Best Style Inspiration
Both of my parents worked in uniforms: My mom was a janitor and my dad a trashman. When I was living in Atlanta, I felt homesick and wanted to do something with my style in homage to them. So I established a uniform for myself—a black-and-white tuxedo.
Erykah Badu once told me, "Stay out of your mind." Whenever I'm anxious about something, I remember those words to anchor myself and not overthink the moment.
Best Mood Boost
Adorable, chunky babies—toddlers, too. One of my coworkers has a 6-month-old we call Wonder Baby; after I spend time with her, I somehow find a solution to whatever work problem I'm having. She's so cute and mushy—until she starts to cry.
Moving from New York to Atlanta. I had graduated from a musical-theater conservatory, and people said it was a bad choice to leave Broadway, but Atlanta is where I found my voice. It wasn't long before I was selling my CDs for $5 on the steps of the library and college dorms.
When I perform "Tightrope," there's a point during the song when someone from my team comes out and puts a cape on my back like James Brown used to do. When we opened for Prince in Denmark, he put it on me! I didn't even realize until after the show. I was so embarrassed, but I couldn't help laughing once I saw the footage.
Best Reason to Stay Up All Night
Partying at the White House. I performed at President Obama's second inauguration after-party, and I was on the dance floor with the First Family until the late hours of the night. I don't think I'll ever go to another event so incredible.
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