Janelle Monaé has been focused on Hollywood, but she gets back to the music.
The Glass Onion star returns with her first single in five years, “Float.” On the triumphant anthem, which features horns by Seun Kuti + Egypt 80, Janelle comes through with an empowering message.
“No, I’m not the same, nia / I think I done changed, nia / See somethin’ not the same, ni**a / I used to walk into the room head down / I don’t walk, now I float,” she sings on the track, which is the official anthem of ABC/ESPN’s NBA Saturday Primetime campaign.
According to a press release, “Float” was inspired by “Muhammad Ali talking shit in Zaire, 1974, Jane’s evolution, Mary Poppins’ umbrella, Aladdin’s magic carpet, Ja Morant’s flotation to the rim while dunking on his ops, Sara Elise’s ropes, excerpts from Paramahmsa Nithyananda’s talks on levitation, Raul’s toast on Dec 1, and Bruce Lee’s mighty philosophy on being ‘shapeless, formless,’ and becoming one with your surroundings, to be like water…”
In the five years since her last album, Janelle has embarked on a successful acting career, starring in films including 2016’s Hidden Figures and Moonlight, as well as 2018’s Harriet and 2022’s Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.
“Float” marks her first new music since 2018’s Grammy-nominated album Dirty Computer, which spawned the hits “Make Me Feel” and “I Like That.”