Janelle Monae Chats Inclusion and Her Upcoming ‘Free As F–k’ Grammy Performance at Fem the Future Brunch


The vibrant, multifaceted energy of sisterhood was the overriding theme at Fem the Future’s brunch celebrating the feminine nominees of the 61st annual Grammy Awards (Feb. eight). 2019 nominee Janelle Monáe and Instagram hosted the occasion at West Hollywood's Ysabel restaurant, and so they have been joined by a contingent of fellow Grammy nominees that included Linda Perry, Brandi Carlisle, Chloe x Halle, Tierra Whack and Sofi Tukker.

“They say that each time a gaggle of proficient, sensible, kickass ladies and allies come collectively for constructive, tangible change, an angel will get her wings,” mentioned Monáe, who based Fem the Future 4 years in the past whereas recording her Grammy-nominated album Dirty Computer. “I don’t know if it’s true or not. But what I do know is once we get collectively, we transfer nearer to a extra inclusive future. This isn’t a development, this isn’t a fleeting second however a vital time in our historical past the place the one method out goes ahead.”

Noting to roaring applause beforehand that “we’re the 2 ladies operating music at Instagram,” Lauren Seawood was joined by fellow music partnerships colleague Fadia Kader in welcoming the varied gathering of girls inside Ysabel. The venue’s teeming courtyard included Motown president Ethiopia Habtemariam, Columbia Records co-head of city music Phylicia Fant, CAA agent Caroline Yim and artists Melanie Fiona, Esperanza, Ari Lennox, Sabrina Claudio and Goapele.


Nithya Raman, govt director of Time’s Up Entertainment, shared that greater than 150 ladies are nominees for this 12 months's Grammys. She additionally revealed that Time’s Up is launching Time’s Up X 2, a marketing campaign devoted to doubling the variety of ladies throughout the business and in positions of energy. Toward that finish, attendees have been requested to characterize Time’s Up on the Grammys tomorrow night (Feb. 9) by sporting one of many ribbons, bracelets and pins being made out there following the brunch. “Our collective mission is to make it possible for each girl in each business has a protected, truthful and dignified place to work,” mentioned Raman.

At one level throughout Monáe’s feedback, the artist didn’t miss a beat when a glass shattered on the ground in the back of the courtyard. “While we are able to acknowledge and have fun the progress that’s been made since this time final 12 months,” she mentioned, “we nonetheless have an extended, lengthy strategy to go … and [to the sound of breaking glass] that tumbler ceiling needs to be damaged.”

During a chat with Billboard previous to her uplifting remarks, Monáe spoke in regards to the significance of “breaking the cycle” and actually skydiving into the “fearless” particular person she is.

Why was it vital arrange this brunch?

It’s vital that girls are celebrated by different ladies. We must really feel that assist from one another. When we come into this business, once we go to award reveals, there’s this sense of competitors within the air. That we now have to compete. And that’s not true. I wished to interrupt that cycle. I wished to verbally specific my love and appreciation for every little thing these ladies are doing. We all work exhausting; all of us have groups that work exhausting on our behalf. We’re out on the entrance strains on a regular basis with our music, our artwork, our picture and our messaging — and it may be lots. I chill out extra once I know that I’m supported by my fellow sisters.

What will it imply to win your first Grammy at this momentous time in historical past?

To be acknowledged for work that’s truthful, sincere and likewise not nearly me, however a couple of neighborhood of marginalized voices, makes me really feel like I’ve already received. The illustration was vital. It’s an attractive factor to have your friends within the music neighborhood and people voting see one thing in you that they really feel issues. That’s actually it for me. I went skydiving yesterday so I’m like on a complete different stratosphere. There’s no different feeling prefer it: 14,000 ft [up in the air], legs dangling from the facet of the airplane and also you leap. That’s what that is all about: leaping and strolling into the fearless particular person I do know that I’m. I didn’t get right here on my own. I acquired right here due to different fearless ladies.

Care to disclose any hints about your efficiency on Sunday?

No, but it surely’s going to be free as f–k.

Janelle Monae Chats Inclusion and Her Upcoming 'Free As F--k' Grammy Performance at Fem the Future Brunch