Janelle Monae is lighting up the cover of InStyle‘s “Badass Women” issue.
In the August edition of the magazine, the singer talks her career, sexuality, and more.
Speaking about coming out as pansexual, Monae says, “I talked to my mom and dad first, and my mom, in particular, had a lot of questions.
“I said, ‘Mama, the only way that I can create art is to truthfully tell my story. It has to come from an honest place, and this is who I honestly am. I don’t know any other way. I have to talk about my sexuality. I have to talk about my blackness. I have to talk about my womanness. I have to talk about these things. This is who I am as a person.’”
As for her unique style, Monae says, “Embracing your uniqueness is an active choice. 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.” She adds with a laugh, “I’m like Issa Rae in ‘Insecure’, like, ‘Bitch, keep it together!’”
Monae also talks about her approach to music, to challenge herself and the industry.
“I’ve always wanted to redefine what a cool, young black woman looks like in the music industry,” she says. “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 sh** down and building something new.”