After having the chance to spend some time in the space that is occupied by the incomparable Janelle Monae, it is easy to find yourself speechless when trying to describe the experience. Over the last few months, after being privy to a number of her performances, one comes to accept and understand the artisan level of perfection that Ms. Monae has brought to her music and art form. Deeply influenced by culture - past, present, and future - her visual and auditory identity has spurned comparisons to subjects as disparate as Fritz Lang and Alfred Hitchcock to James Brown and Marlene Dietrich.
Having caught up with her during the California legs of her current tour schedule, we've finally compiled enough scene worthy displays of her showmanship and character to give you a taste of what can only be termed a 'once in a lifetime' kind of performer.
The folks at URB HD present a Society Theory Original special edition Two Sides of Cool two-parter. Shot on location at the Paramount Theater in Oakland and at the SF Outside Lands Festival, Part 1 dives into her history and heretofore unseen or heard thoughts on her destiny and craft. Presented in a form that is inline with the style, character, and influence of Ms. Monae, both pieces were built out to harken back to the days of modern and classic film noir and serialized news reels.
Words by Phil Nacionales for URB Magazine
Executive Producer: URB
Producer: Matt Carvalho for Society Theory
Director: Phil Nacionales
Camera: Derrick Victa, Rosemary Mamisay, Kristin Jong, Phil Nacionales, Josh Schielie
Editor: Phil Nacionales
Audio: Derrick Victa
Post Production/Color: Phil Nacionales
Janelle Monae - 'Tight Rope (Wonderland Instrumental)'
Janelle Monae - Locked Inside
Special Thanks: Janelle Monae, Atlantic Records, Wondaland Arts, SF Outside Lands, Paramount Theater