Growing up in Kansas, one of Janelle Monae's idols was a fictional Kansas native: Dorothy Gale (Judy Garland) from The Wizard of Oz. Like Dorothy, Janelle dreamed of a place somewhere over the rainbow. "There was a lot of confusion and nonsense where I grew up, so I reacted by creating my own little world," she said in her Atlantic Records bio. "I began to see how music could change lives, and I began to dream about a world where every day was like anime and Broadway, where music fell from the sky and anything could happen."
Janelle's debut studio album, The ArchAndroid, is a concept album that continues the journey of her futuristic alter-ego Cindi Mayweather, who was introduced in her EP Metropolis: Suite 1 (The Chase). She told MTV: "Cindi is an android and I love speaking about the android because they are the new 'other.' People are afraid of the other and I believe we're going to live in a world with androids because of technology and the way it advances. The first album she was running because she had fallen in love with a human and she was being disassembled for that."
The ArchAndroid - released through P. Diddy's Bad Boy Records and her own Indie label, The Wondaland Arts Society - was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary R&B Album in 2010 but lost to Usher's Raymond vs. Raymond. Her single "Tightrope" was also nominated for Best Urban/Alternative Performance and lost to Cee Lo Green's "F--k You."
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