Janelle Monáe had to momentarily put her music-making on hold to make room for her impressive film debut.
Monáe has reportedly been working on her new album for four years, following her 2013 release, The Electric Lady. That's when she read two scripts that changed her career: Moonlight and Hidden Figures. S
She played roles in both films and had one of the most impressive feature film debuts in some time. The 31-year-old won multiple awards as part of the ensemble of both Moonlight and Hidden Figures, in which she plays Teresa and Mary Jackson, respectively.
The initial scripts of these films came at the right time for Monáe, as she reveals in the new cover story for American Way.
"I had reached a block," she admitted. "The universe has a way of making sure that I have enough inspiration. I will be releasing music in 2017."
This is major news for fans of Monáe, who has put out three albums, including the critically lauded The ArchAndroid. She did not reveal any other details regarding her new album, including whether this will see her return to the Cindi Mayweather universe featured in Metropolis: Suite I (The Chase), The ArchAndroid and The Electric Lady.
Either way, the world should probably expect Monáe to straddle the line between music and film in the future.
"I've never considered myself to just be a singer," she admitted. "I have always considered myself to be an artist and storyteller. I want to continue to tell unique, untold and universal stories in unconventional ways. With both 'Moonlight' and 'Hidden Figures', black people are presented as layered, complete human beings, not one-dimensional and not monolithic."
Monáe is also expected to present at the Oscars on Feb. 26, where both Moonlight and Hidden Figures are nominated for Best Picture and a slew of other awards.