Janelle Monae is not short on ambition.
The Atlanta-based singer and songwriter, who first courted attention in OutKast's "Idlewild" film, is getting ready for the May 18 drop of "The Archandroid," her first full-length album and the follow-up to the 2007 EP "Metropolis Suite I of IV: The Chase." It's a wide-ranging science fiction tale focused on a character/alter ego named Cyndi Mayweather, a messianic figure destined to delivered the Metropolis proletariat from slavery.
Not exactly a modest set of songs, eh?
"As an artist, I do have huge ambitions," acknowledges Monae, 24. "I mean, why not? YOu live and then you die and what you do between that time is waht will be remembered and bring you happiness."
She plans to continue residing in "Metropolis" as well. "The Archandroid" will be accompanied by a graphic novel, while Monae plans to film a video for each of the album's songs -- the clip for the first single, "Tightrope," is just out -- to put some flesh on the narrative. A full feature film is also a possibility, she says.
"In terms of just being an artist, there's no limit to the things that I know I can do," Monae explains. "I get a chance to see beauty in a story and thins most people who aren't artists can't see, so why not go all the way with it?
"I just understand the power of art and music and how inspirational and life-changing it can be for the individual, 'cause I've definitely changed in the way I perceive life. I want to give that opportunity to other people."
Janelle Monae performs at 8 p.m. Friday, April 2, at Saint Andrews Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $12.50. Call 313-961-6358 or visit www.livenation.com.
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