Feb 29, 2016

#ICYMIMonday: @wondaland; @JanelleMonae @StBeautyband @DeepCotton @Jidenna @RomanGianArthur , Written By @Natural_Nation

Today I come to you with words of the future, tales of Wondaland. For those not quite in tune let me be your guide for what's to come. One of my favorite artists of all time, award winning musical artist Janelle Monae, has her own record label: Wondaland Records also known as Wondaland Arts Society. Wondaland Records is partnering with Epic records, a division on Sony Music Entertainment to create this unique combination of musical artists. Currently this musical collective consists of four other artists; Jidenna, St. Beauty, Roman GianArthur and Deep Cotton. All different artists with their own sound. As an introduction to the collaborative Wondaland released a collective EP called Wondaland Presents: The Eephus this past summer. 

Meet Jidenna: The Swankiest Master of Ceremony
Most of the world already knows about Jidenna. With his single Classic Man catching on quickly and being a hit from the gate this platinum record was a classy introduction to this "swanky" artist. Jidenna brings enjoyment back to the world of cool. I really appreciate artists who utilize their position and influence in a good way. From his attire to his music to his involvement in the community Jidenna is conscious and deliberate about the messages he's sending.
Check out his Eephus single: Classic Man

Meet St. Beauty: The Wild Children:Healer and Inspire
I first heard St. Beauty, a band made of Alexe Belle and Isis Valentino, a couple summers ago while spending some time in Atlanta. I came across a poor quality video of one of their performances on YouTube. Yet, despite the quality of the video it was quite hard to ignore their sound. I knew if i could find a clear recording somewhere that I would have found one of my new favorite groups. But I never did,so I waited. They had to come out with something eventually, right? 

Check out their Eephus single:Going Nowhere

Meet Roman GianArthur: A Certain Kind of Sol
Roman is a man of many talents: composer, singer, instrumentalist. I recently learned that before joining Wondaland records he actually had a hand in both The Arch Android and Electric Lady, Janelle Monae's first and second studio album. Roman helped compose the suite overtures on each album, which happen to be my favorite part of each album.  Brother to Nate Wonder, Roman is someone everyone needs to keep their eye on.

Check out his Eephus single: iKnow

Meet Deep Cotton: A Band of Brothers Who Like To Act Up
Chuck Lighting and Nate Wonder make up the funk duo Deep Cotton. The first time I heard Deep Cotton was actually about three years ago. Janelle had a commercial for Sonos electronic company and We're Far Enough From Heaven Now We Can Freak Out was playing as the track in the background. And actually, going back to watch the video I realize that everyone but Alexe and Jidenna we're in the commercial so this collaboration has been in tact longer than I had realized. The energy in this groups music is amazing and their overall message of freedom isn't hard to miss as long as you are not afraid to be open.

Check out their single: Let's Get Caught

I had to take the time to spotlight these incredible group of individuals. When Janelle Monae first came out it was like a breath of fresh air. I was able to look at someone who seemed similar to myself and as an artist watch her embrace that it was okay to sound and look different. People would laugh at me when I played her music in the car or call it weird. Or ask me why she always wore the same suit, like I knew. And then overtime I watched the climate shift. Now people started dressing like her for Halloween, now she was people's "women crush Wednesday" on Instagram. People began to embrace what they previously flipped their hair at. So, now I look at these other four artists who are all strikingly different but amazing just as she was and I can't help but feel hopeful about the future of music and culture. You can click on each name above to find out a little bit more about each artist. Best believe I will keep you updated.


Multimedia Journalist, Founder and Chief Editor of WTM Host of A-Side B-Side Podcast and more. I like to talk about stuff and write it down. Sometimes to a microphone. Either way, I need you to feel this.

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