Janelle Monae performed Saturday night on Coachella’s Gobi Stage — before the show she hinted that she had some surprises planned. That apparently involved a cover of Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” and jumping onto the back of bandmember, heading out into the crowd, and surfing across a sea of fans. Prior to her set, we caught up with Monae backstage as she was prepping for her big Coachella debut. She revealed details of her upcoming album, which fans have been anticipating since her 2010 release, “The ArchAndorid.”
“The Electric Lady” will see a fall release, and Monae added that she will soon be releasing a new track on April 22nd. “It’s titled Q.U.E.E.N. and it features Erykah Badu.”
Monae even gave a precise time that the song will be drop on the 22nd: “19:45 military time.”
“I’m really excited about it,” she chirped. “This song is inspired by private conversations she [Badu] and I have had and continue to have. She’s a great friend to me; she’s like a big sister and it’s a song about private dialogue that she and I have had.”
Monae explained that she looks to Badu as a musical idol, adding that they are very supportive of each other’s crafts, speaking on the phone often and constantly bouncing ideas off of each other.
“We try to celebrate each other as much as possible and call one another when we’ve done something that the other one really admires and loves. She was one of the first female artists to reach out to me and take me on tour with her as well so I’m forever grateful for her in my life,” she said.
Monae spoke briefly about the style of “The Electric Lady,” referring to it as being a bit more mature than her previous material. “The album in general is more revealing. It’s more personal. I’m taking a lot more risks on this album,” she revealed.
In addition to Badu, Monae alluded to a few more possible collaborations, which she is keeping to herself at the moment.
“I love the element of surprise. I don’t want to talk too much about what I’m going to do because I might change my mind and it will be like ‘Janelle’s a liar’ and then I’m blacklisted from all publications for lying,” she joked.
Following the release of the record, Monae plans to hit the road with a slew of tour dates.
“I am right in the middle of making all of those decisions. It will be a unique tour. I’m exciting about how we are going to release everything and the experience – the overall experience of ‘The Electric Lady’ campaign. I can’t wait!”