Janelle Monae Explains Why Her New LP Needed Brian Wilson
As evidenced throughout his recent No Pier Pressure LP, Brian Wilson has maintained an active interest in collaborating with younger artists — one that continues with his appearance on Dirty Computer, the latest outing from singer-songwriter Janelle Monáe.
While their creative union might come as a surprise to some fans of either artist, Monáe has made it clear she knew she needed Wilson to contribute his signature vocals to the album's title track — and not because she was looking to add left-field name-brand talent to the liner notes. As she told Rolling Stone, she did her research on Wilson and his history with the Beach Boys.
"I found out that the reason why their sound was so quiet, and their harmonies were blended but they were soft, was because they didn't want to wake up their parents," Monáe recalled. "They were secretly recording softly so they didn't disturb their parents, and I just thought that was so cool."
After coming across that information, Monáe said she decided "there was nobody that I thought that could sing those backgrounds but Brian Wilson," and after she reached out to "let him know what I was doing," he agreed to take part. The results of their collaboration can be heard below.
Wilson, in a statement, expressed enthusiasm for the project and Monáe's music in general. Referring to her as "a real talent," he told Rolling Stone, "I was thrilled she asked me to sing on her song. I love the melody on this track and the harmonies very much."