Janelle Monáe had 'anxiety attacks' over Dirty Computer

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 24 May 2020
Janelle Monae

Janelle Monae

Janelle Monáe had "anxiety attacks" over whether or not to finish her 2018 album 'Dirty Computer' after US President Donald Trump's election

Janelle Monáe had "anxiety attacks" over recording her album 'Dirty Computer'.

The 34-year-old singer-and-actress has revealed she contemplated whether or not to carry on with the acclaimed 2018 LP, because she was worried that it might "embolden" the groups of "white supremacists and neo-Nazis" going around when US President Donald Trump was elected, as the songs speak out against "racism" and "xenophobia".

She recalled: "It was one of the first times I felt very afraid.

"Living in Atlanta, Ga., and there were white supremacists and neo-Nazis going around to little black kids' birthday parties and holding up the Confederate flag.

"There was a lot going on in the country during that time and I didn't know if this was going to embolden them, at the time, to do something to people like me who were speaking out against racism and sexism and xenophobia and Islamophobia, and everything that they represent.

"I just didn't know."

The 'Locked Inside' singer – who worked with the late music legend Prince on the tracks before his death in 2016 – is glad that she stood her ground and spoke up for her community, as she realised she shouldn't have to be "silent and quiet".

She continued: "And so I started to just have anxiety attacks about it, and I'm thankful I didn't let that stop me, because I think what that album represented, especially one of my songs, 'Americans', ... deals with that.

"It deals with how I'm not going to back down and we're not going to back down and become silent and quiet and watch this president tear this country apart and tear down the people that helped build this country."

After the 'Purple Rain' hitmaker's passing, whenever she was struggling to finish a track, the 'Hidden Figures' actress would always think to herself, 'What would Prince do?'

She added to NPR: "Prince ... was working with me on 'Dirty Computer' before he transitioned on and Prince was helping, sending me song inspirations and we were going back and forth.

"And so when he transitioned on, I felt that I had to continue to finish that album.

"And I was always asking myself, 'What would Prince do?' in these moments whenever I couldn't figure out a lyric or music or instrumentation or melody."