Janelle Monáe Debuts New Film ‘Antebellum,’ And Video “Turntables”
Written by admin on September 16, 2020
It’s been a busy week for one of our faves! On Monday, Janelle Monáe joined by co-stars Jena Malone, Jack Huston, Kiersey Clemons, Gabourey Sidibe, Lily Cowles, along with Writer/Director/Producers Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz debuted her film ‘Antebellum’ at a rooftop cinematic experience at The Grove and the photos are pretty phenomenal.
She looks amazing. Riiiiight? Check out some photos from the event below.
Antebellum will premiere as a Premium On-Demand release, debuting on all platforms on September 18. The film will be released theatrically in select international markets.
In Antebellum, successful author Veronica Henley (Janelle Monáe) finds herself trapped in a horrifying reality that forces her to confront the past, present and future – before it’s too late. Advocacy filmmakers Gerard Bush + Christopher Renz (Bush | Renz) – best known for their pioneering advertising work engaged in the fight for social justice – write, produce and direct their first feature film, teaming with QC Entertainment, producer of the acclaimed films Get Out and BlacKkKlansman, Zev Foreman, Lezlie Wills, and Lionsgate.
This Friday on all platforms! Will you be watching?
And it’s a busy week for Janelle because she also just dropped her new video for “Turntables” which was directed by Child. The song was created for the new film “All In: The Fight For Democracy” which is also available September 18th, on Prime video.
It’s really an incredibly moving piece of artwork, pretty much what we’ve come to expect from Janelle and child.
When the song was released earlier this month, Janelle Monáe talked to Zane Lowe at Apple Music about it:
I, like a lot of people just as humans, especially being black in America, I’ve been experiencing a lot of trauma around seeing black bodies murdered, like humans murdered. I struggle with talking about it because it is like a wound that we’re reopening. We’ve been screaming Black Lives Matter. We’ve been understanding where our ancestors came from and the fact that I’m here not because I asked to be here, but because my ancestors were stolen and we were forced to be here. So there’s a connection between the past the present and what could be the future if we continue. And I say, as humans continue to let black people suffer. And so I’ve been emotionally debilitated, but I got an opportunity to get back into the studio to talk about or to create lyrics that [doesn’t] keep us reminded of that trauma, but keep us moving forward and remind us that things are changing.
We are changing things. The tables are turning. The rooster has come home to roost. So this song is capturing direction. And when you think about a record, when you think about a record spinning, when you think about the revolutions per minute, it’s all connected. And that is what this song means. This song doesn’t mean that I’m the leader, that I’m here to tell you what to do, how to fix things. I’m simply watching, examining and wanting to highlight all of the people who are on the front lines, fighting for our democracy, fighting against racial inequalities, fighting against white supremacy, fighting against systemic racism and systemic oppression. So this song is to keep us motivated. This song is to lift up and keep us galvanized when we’re fatigued. And this song is really for the people.
Ironically, Monáe says she wasn’t really in a creative space when she got the call to make music for the project but because she was passionate about Stacey Abrams and Fair Fight, she was motivated to do something:
You know, I wasn’t, especially when we got an in the pandemic we had to like social distance, I wasn’t in the creative space at all. I wasn’t in the studio. I wasn’t writing music. And I got a call from Stacey Abrams because I live in Atlanta, Georgia, and I was around, I was there when Brian Kemps stole the election from Stacey Abrams. And I told her if she ever needed me for anything to not hesitate to call. She’s the real deal. This is somebody who has, since a little girl, she’s always known that she wanted to be governor. She’s always known that she wanted to be in public service. And so she reached out, she and our team and the directors, the All In documentary reached out to me and asked me if I had time to do a song for her documentary.
And I said, man, I don’t know, man, because I’m not a politician. And for me being upset, being angry, you know, I’m going to tell the truth. I’m not thinking about political correctness and I’m not saying that she is, but I know that there’s a difference between artists speaking and politicians speaking. Sometimes they may have to word it differently than myself. So I said, okay, I’m going to try. I’m going to try. I’m going to go in the studio. I was very moved by the documentary. I fell in love with Stacey Abrams, even more. I wanted her to be President – and she’s going to run later – but after I watched it, I went into the studio and I work with Nate “Rocket” Wonder, one of my producers that I’ve worked with for a really long time.
And I wrote this song, like I was hearing it for the first time and this is what I need to get reignited. This is what I needed to get fire underneath my feet and to keep fighting. And so I said, I’m gonna write this like I was writing for myself and like I was writing it for all of the, who are on the frontline, boots on the ground. What would I want them to listen to before they went out to go march? Before they went out to go fight on behalf of black lives and on behalf of women in marginalized communities? And so I said, if they asked me to change a lyric, though, I’m not going to be able to give it to them. That’ll be just what it was. Maybe I’ll use it for a project or maybe I just won’t. And I sent it over and they loved it. They didn’t ask me to change a lyric. They didn’t ask me to change a word in it. And, and I was really thankful for that. So I have to give, thanks to Stacey Abrams and I have to give thanks to the directors of the documentary for getting me to find the energy and the strength mentally to go back into the studio.
There’s so much to fight for these days. What gets you motivate to create at the highest level? Are you excited to see ‘ALL IN: THE FIGHT FOR DEMOCRACY’?