Janelle Monae is revamping her Wondaland Arts Society imprint – which has thus far been used mainly for her own music – into a full-fledged independent label, and has partnered with Epic Records to market and distribute the freshly renamed Wondaland Records. The label will debut in May with a five-song EP spotlighting the first four act signed to the label, as well as a new track from Monae herself.
Keeping it family-style, the eclectic Wondaland artists regularly pool resources and already have a long history with Monae. Funk/rock jesters Deep Cotton are major Monae collaborators and back her up on tour; soulful folk duo St. Beauty features Isis Valentino, a dancer and background singer for Monae; singer, songwriter, composer and multi-instrumentalist Roman GianArthur contributed enormously to the creation of Monae’s debut full-length album, The ArchAndroid, and its 2013 followup The Electric Lady; Brooklyn rapper Jidenna, the sole member of the inaugural Wondaland roster not based in Atlanta, is featured on the forthcoming single from Monae, “Yoga,” which will be included on the introductory Wondaland EP. Just beginning to be heard on radio and online, Jidenna’s own single, “Classic Man” (also culled from the upcoming EP) features GianArthur.
“The collective talent of the Wondaland artists is awe-inspiring,” said L.A. Reid, Epic’s Chairman and CEO. “I haven’t personally witnessed a collective that sounds and looks this special in quite a while. I’ve been a longtime supporter and friend of Janelle and it is an honor to now work with her as a visionary businesswoman who brings an all-star group of talented performers to the table.”