Atlantic Records

Pop sensation Janelle Monáe is living in the age of queer joy and pleasure.

Two months after the release of their fourth album, The Age of Pleasure, the American star spoke to Associated Press about the project and their upcoming tour.

“I wanted to create a soundtrack to our lifestyle,” they explain. “I think this album, like all my albums, reflects exactly where I am at that time.”

On being questioned about dealing with online hate and criticism, they give a characteristically confident response.

“I’m too busy living life to be distracted,” the 37-year-old told the publication. “The positive things are always amazing too, but I also don’t go fishing for that.

“One of the things about being in the age of pleasure is being present and making sure I’m dipping in on social media, saying what I need to say, showing love, saying ‘thank you’, putting up my art and leaving.

“I have a lot of things that keep me busy,” they add. “I’m practising guitar. I’m having the best sex of my life. I’m happy.

“Even in the middle of all that’s going on in this world, I’m finding time to steal joy and to centre joy and to stay surrounded by the people that bring me joy.”

READ MORE: Janelle Monáe on the rise of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation: “I will continue to fight back”

With the state of LGBTQ+ rights in the USA at the moment, a prominent artist centering and unapologetically explorin queer joy is both refreshing and crucial.

Janelle Monáe is also embarking on their first tour since 2019 this autumn.

The Age of Pleasure Tour begins on 30 August in Seattle and wraps up on 18 October in Inglewood.


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Watch the video for ‘Water Slide’, the third single from The Age of Pleasure, below.