Janelle Monae covers Billboard

Get ready queens, Janelle Monáe is primed and ready for her return!  After dropping the oh so funky lead single Q.U.E.E.N.S. a few weeks ago, the Kansas City native is gearing up to release her sophomore effort, Electric Lady in September.

This week Monáe covers Billboard and discusses her upcoming album and her friendship with the purple one himself, Prince.

“We are great friends, and he is a mentor to us, to me,” she tells Billboard. “It’s a beautiful thing to have a friend — someone who cares about your career, and wants to see you go far and to push boundaries and shake up the world — give whatever they possibly can to the cause.”

Electric Lady, Monáe’s follow up to her smash 2010 debut The ArchAndroid, will feature guest appearances by Erykah Badu, Miguel, and her pal Prince.

“It’s not every day that he collaborates. I’m honored and humbled that he trusted me. He is forever my friend, and I am forever indebted. I can’t say too much else about it,” she told the music rag.

With so many heavy-hitter’s Monáe’s label hopes Electric Lady will not only give the fans what they want, but will finally earn the quirky songstress some solid radio spins as well.

“This album has a lot of songs that can get played on mainstream radio,” Atlantic Records Group chairman/COO Julie Greenwald told Billboard. “Before, we got a lot of attention in the press, on the blogs, on the video networks. But we didn’t crack the code at radio. So if you connect that last dot, it’s going to be a significant improvement from the last album cycle. Which is really going to put her music in so many people’s homes.”

Regardless of whether or not radio will catch up to her magic, Janelle Monáe isn’t worried. She’s sticking to her only goal: to thine own self be true.

“My goal wasn’t to be the most famous person overnight — it was to make music on my own terms, develop myself and understand if my words were necessary to young people like myself and to make my family proud.”

Check out an excerpt of the interview on the Billboard site or pick up a copy on newsstands now.

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