Janelle Monae Cover Girl model covers the February 2013 issue of Elle Canada and says while many ladies opt to show some major skin to complement their vocal skills, she wants people to “look at her music” instead of her “gorgeous” curves.
“I am naturally shy,” she says softly. “That’s what people are most surprised by, because when I’m onstage there’s nothing shy. It’s all electricity. I feel fearless.”
“I got this Facebook message and it really just touched my heart and reminded me where I came from and how I can never complain. I’ll show you,” she says, scrolling down her wall, which is bursting with exclamation points from fans.
The message is from a girl whom Monáe worked alongside as a maid, cleaning houses while trying to make money for college; she’s congratulating Monáe on her success and reminiscing about listening to her sing while they cleaned. There are a lot of emoticons. There are a lot of actual emotions too.
“A lot of the women I worked with had rough lives,” says Monáe. “They were recovering addicts or getting out of jail.” The cleaning service hired desperate women who couldn’t get a job anywhere else. Monáe herself was desperate to leave her hometown and attend the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York.