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Janelle Monae is leading the pack as InStyle’s latest cover star: I’m interested in…building something new


Credit: ABC/Ida Mae Astute

Janelle Monae is redefining what it means to be a young black woman in music, as the latest cover star of InStyle

Inside the magazine’s Bada** Women Issue, Monae dishes on her career goals, the importance of expressing her sexuality, and having her art mirror her love for the skin she’s in. 

“I’ve always wanted to redefine what a cool young black woman looks like in the music industry,” the “Make Me Feel” singer told the magazine. “I was never interested in fitting into a system that wasn’t built for me or with me in mind. I’m interested in burning that s*** down and building something new.”

And that she is. In recent years, Janelle’s added acting to her resume, delivering memorable performances in the hit films Moonlight and Hidden Figures and 2018’s Welcome to Marwen.  This year, she’ll appear in the Harriet Tubman biopic Harriet, and the live-action remake of Disney’s Lady and the Tramp.

“I don’t look at myself as just an actor or a musician,” Monae explained. “I am an artist, and I have a responsibility to tell the truth. I use different mediums, but it’s all storytelling to me.”

These days, the multi-talent is committed to embracing every facet of who she is, and the challenges that come with that. 

“Embracing your uniqueness is an active choice,” Monae said. “I don’t wake up looking flawless every morning. I don’t wake up feeling empowered. I don’t wake up feeling fearless. I have to actively choose to feel that way.”

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