Saturday, June 12, 2010
Inspiration: Janelle Monae: I need you to stay in the Tuxedos...
Today, I was re-introduced to a fireball of funkilicious talent in the form of Janelle Monae. My good friend and fellow illustrator, the fabulous Vanessa Brantley Newton of Ooh La La Design Studio has a wonderful video of Janelle's latest submission to the annals of cool-jazz funkdom, "Tightrope," from the new CD "ArchAndroid." To behold this breath of fresh air in a sea of pop culture redundancy, head on over here and check out the video.
I first witnessed this dynamo of dance on a hip-hop fashion show of some kind on BET a few months ago. I don't remember much else other than Janelle's performance and how I was awestruck by her style, talent and ability to take me to another place in time musically. I saw Harlem Renaissance Cotton Club, Detroit local cool jazz club, Baker's Keyboard Lounge, the fancy footwork of James Brown, and the "hi-de-hi's," "ho-deho's, frenetic stylings of Cab Calloway all rolled up in this one tiny, well dressed body.
The Kansas City, Kansas native was born Janelle Monae Robinson on December 1, 1985. The 24 year old has traveled the globe, touring with the likes of Erykah Badu and No Doubt to such exotic locations as Istanbul, Berlin, Moscow and back on American soil to New York. She has also realized "one of the most important signings of my career," by Sean "Diddy" Combs.1 Not bad for one who has barely spent a quarter of her life on this planet.
Dressed in ankle length tuxedos with slightly larger than normal bow ties, patent leather two-toned oxfords, and one of the coolest hair styles this side of the 50's, Janelle slides across the floor with the ease of a seasoned pro. Always the innovator, she stretched her toe tapping talents by performing two years ago, white tutu and all, with the Atlanta Ballet in a production called "BIG." (See above video)
FA'SHOE'NISTA! celebrates the amazing talent and eclectic style of Ms. Janelle Monae. May you continue to take the galaxy by storm and please, stay in the Tuxedos!
For more on Ms. Monae, go to http://www.jmonae.com