Janelle Monae on in Trinity College

Born in Kansas City, Monáe had always dreamt of becoming a singer. She moved to New York City to pursue her dreams and studied drama at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. Monáe released her first EP in 2003 called The Audition. The singer released her first solo full-length album, Metropolis, in 2005, and scored a Grammy Award nomination for Best Urban/Alternative Performance for her single Many Moons.

In 2015, Monáe announced that with Epic Records, she’d created her own independent label, Wondaland Arts Society, an idea she had all those years ago. Now known as Wondaland Records, this made her one of the few African-American women in the industry who run their own record label.

From her record label, she released the EP Wondaland Presents: The Eephus which featured artists signed to the label including St. Beauty, Roman GianArthur, Jidenna, Deep Cotton and Monáe herself.