Janelle Monae to perform at IMU


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Janelle Monáe is a genre-fusing performer whose music features accents of soul, funk, and R&B. And her talent is not unrecognized. At 25, the singer has earned three Grammy nominations, including Best R&B Record, putting her in the same field as such veteran R&B acts as Usher, R. Kelly, and Chris Brown.

"I feel very blessed, very humbled," she said. "You know, it's the beginning of my career, so being recognized at such an early stage in my career makes me want to work hard and inspire more music with my music."

Monáe will perform at 6:30 p.m. today in the IMU Main Ballroom. Admission is $23.

She is also known for her sophisticated fashion sense — she wears a tuxedo every day. Her live performances are known to leave her fans wowed because of the energy she emanates.

The artist recognizes that her live shows are unlike many others. She said touring with the same orchestra that plays on her newest album helps make the energy onstage electrifying.

She thinks of her show as an experience, not just a concert.

"I have the chance to come to your school and give a performance that people will never forget. And I want people to be encouraged, I want people to know that the music I am creating is for them," she said. "Sometimes, people feel like they don't have a voice, they are being discriminated against or oppressed or depressed — this music is kind of like a [medicine]."

Monáe's concert, or experience, rather, is not the only thing her national tour has to offer.

This show is part of a series called the Campus Consciousness Tour, and it is powered by Reverb, a company based in Maine that tours with artists to make events "greener" and promote sustainability.

"Campuses are a place where change happens," said Maya Jaafar of Reverb. "Students are very passionate about what they believe in. We give opportunities to student groups on campus to reach out to their peers and start a conversation about the need for sustainability."

The artist's promotion of ecological sustainability along with her high-energy musical performances are reasons that SCOPE chose to host Monáe at the UI.

"I can't give it away," said Emily Kane, the SCOPE talent buyer. "But there will be some pretty cool things, production-wise, going on. There are going to be a lot of extra elements to the show that aren't in most shows."

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