Janelle Monae Talks Missing Music After Winning in Hollywood; Plus Working on Four Albums

Janelle Monáe’s recent performance for the grand opening of Lord & Taylor’s new 5th Avenue shop The Dress Address has her itching to get back to her first love…music.

“It was so electrifying,” Monáe told PEOPLE. “I miss the people, the stage, performing my songs.”

She continued: “Singing is just part of my DNA. I was working on four albums when I stopped to film, but acting gave me clarity on which album I need to put out.”

Monáe had been on a short hiatus from music while focusing on her acting career. She starred in both the Oscar-nominated historical hit ‘Hidden Figures’ and the Oscar-winning indie film ‘Moonlight.’

“This year has been surreal,” she adds. “I look back and I’m like, ‘Wow, I was in two incredible films!’ I’m just so proud and thankful.”

Many were surprised at Monáe’s success in Hollywood, but for her, it was all about timing, especially since she had already done the ground work. “I studied music and theater at a performing arts school, so it didn’t feel all that different,” she says. “I didn’t want to play ‘Janelle Monáe’ in those films. It was about honoring [my characters] Mary Jackson and Teresa.”

As far as the films that brought her much praises, Monáe hopes Hollywood continues to develop those kinds of projects. “Those films were works of art,” she says. “I hope that the studios look at the success of both those films and start giving more opportunities to do different storytelling.”


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