You know the world is in a crappy place when how bad things are can make even Janelle Monáe lose hope. In a new interview with Allure, Monáe revealed that her excellent new album, Dirty Computer, almost didn’t see the light of day because of how hopeless the current political climate made her feel – though we have Stevie Wonder to thank for changing her mind.
The ArchAndroid lamented on how with Trump being elected, “I felt it was a direct attack on us, on black women, on women, on women’s rights, on the LGBTQIA community, on poor folks. I felt like it was a direct attack saying, “You’re not important. You’re not valuable and we’re going to make laws and regulations that make it official and make it legal for us to devalue you and treat you like second-class citizens or worse,” admitting that “I got to the point where I stopped recording because I was just like, ‘I’m going to make an angry album.’ ”
Things were looking grim until Monáe found herself at dinner with a friend who needs no introduction, Stevie Wonder. While telling Wonder about her anger at the world and the creative frustration it’s caused, Wonder instructed her to pull out her phone and record what he was about to say:
Even when you’re upset, use words of love / ’Cause God is love / Allah is love / Jehovah is love / So don’t let your expressions, even of anger / Be confused or misconstrued / Turn them into words of expression / That can be understood by using words of love
If you’ve heard Dirty Computer, you know that these words of positivity would go on to make up the “Stevie’s Dream” interlude, but they gave a lot more to Monáe than just song ideas: “It’s easy for me to just stay angry, but it’s harder for me to choose love,” she said, but it was leaving that anger behind and taking Wonder’s advice to follow that love which lead to Monáe escaping her creative block and birthing Dirty Computer, an album she says is “rooted in love.”
So next time the world has you feeling down, maybe just call up your incredibly-famous friend and have them record an empowering message to use on your album – that, or just take Wonder’s advice and choose love.