Singing in a dormitory lounge isn’t particularly sultry; neither is working at Office Depot or living in a boarding house. But at the infancy stage of her music career, Janelle Monáe wasn’t concerned with how she looked, only her sound.
“I grew up in a family of strong women, deeply rooted in spirituality and who were also leaders,” says the singer of her early focus on substance over style. “So that was instilled in me. I like to think I came from a family with heart, and I’ve kept that with me.”
The Kansas City, KS native needed more than a bowlful of courage to embark on her journey. She had to be fearless. At 17, she started her own label, Wondaland Art Society and put out her debut album, The Audition. The indie project was just that, a prelude of what was to come.
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