Monae: I wear my tux on days off
Published 21/02/2011 | 08:26
Janelle Monae has revealed how her trademark tuxedo look was inspired by her mum and dad.
The immaculately-dressed, quiff-haired singer sees the distinctive bow tie and sharp suit combo as her "superhero uniform" - both on and off stage.
"When I'm working and performing, and even on my days off, this is how I like to look," the Kansas-born artist revealed.
"The tuxedo is a homage to my mother, who was a janitor, and my father, who drove trash trucks, and how they put on a uniform every day and turned something into nothing.
"It's like a retro-futuristic thing. I don't want people to look at my photos when I'm gone and think I belong to a certain time."
Grammy-nominated Janelle, who's been championed by P Diddy, said she worked hard to reach the dizzy heights of fame.
"I worked as a maid for a while before I went to the American Musical And Dramatic Academy in New York. Term started in October, so that summer I was scrubbing floors and walls because that's the only job I could find," the 24-year-old added.
"I haven't been back home in a while, but I do encourage my family to come and live with me. My family love and support me, and I love them back.
"I have a lot of cousins, like 50. My mum had eight sisters and two brothers, so there's a lot of kids."