Make Me Feel

Album: Dirty Computer (2018)
Charted: 74 99

Songfacts®:

  • This funky R&B track was co-written by Janelle Monáe with Julia Michaels (Justin Bieber's "Sorry," Selena Gomez's "Good For You"). The track finds the singer voicing her feelings for someone special.

    "It's a celebratory song," Monáe explained to The Guardian. "I hope that comes across. That people feel more free, no matter where they are in their lives, that they feel celebrated. Because I'm about women's empowerment. I'm about agency. I'm about being in control of your narrative and your body. That was personal for me to even talk about: to let people know you don't own or control me and you will not use my image to defame or denounce other women."
  • The song has a definite Prince influence. The late Minneapolis star was both a friend to and a heavy influence on Monáe, remixing The Electric Lady's lead single "Q.U.E.E.N" and appearing on another of its tracks "Givin Em What They Love."

    The Purple One worked closely with the songstress on Dirty Computer prior to his death in April, 2016. "It's difficult for me to even speak about this because Prince was helping me with the album, before he passed on to another frequency," Monáe said.
  • According to Prince's DJ, Lenka Paris, the Minneapolis icon contributed to this song. She wrote in a subsequently deleted Facebook post that Prince had played her the synth line before his passing. Describing it as "so futuristic and so good," Paris said: "Last night I hear Janelle Monae's new song. As soon as the synth came in, I went, 'Oh s--t! That's it!' He gave that to her."
  • This was Janelle Monáe's first song as an unaccompanied artist to enter the Hot 100. She previously was a featured vocalist on fun.'s chart-topper "We Are Young" and reached #79 in 2015 with her Jidenna collaboration "Yoga."
  • Justin Tranter also contributed to the tune. The pop songwriter has co-penned hit singles for the likes of Hailee Steinfeld ("Love Myself"), Justin Bieber ("Sorry") and Selena Gomez ("Good For You").

    "Janelle Monáe couldn't get cooler if you paid her-- so cool it hurts my feelings," Tranter told Billboard. "We met in a session and 'Make Me Feel' was birthed. I think it's the best-reviewed song I've ever been a part of."
  • Throughout the Alan Ferguson-directed video, Monáe is seen dancing seductively with both actress Tessa Thompson and a man. In the past, the Kansas-born singer has dodged questions about her sexuality, but she revealed in a 2018 Rolling Stone interview that she identified as pansexual - someone sexually attracted towards people regardless of their sex or gender identity.

    "Being a queer black woman in America," she shared. "Someone who has been in relationships with both men and women - I consider myself to be a free-a-s mother---er."
  • Monáe performed this at the Grammy Awards in 2019 in a striking performance that involved some Prince-like choreography and a number of female backup dances in outlandish costumes.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Gary Numan

Gary NumanSongwriter Interviews

An Electronic music pioneer with Asperger's Syndrome. This could be interesting.

The 10 Bands Most Like Spinal Tap

The 10 Bands Most Like Spinal TapSong Writing

Based on criteria like girlfriend tension, stage mishaps and drummer turnover, these are the 10 bands most like Spinal Tap.

Which Restaurants Are Most Mentioned In Song Lyrics?

Which Restaurants Are Most Mentioned In Song Lyrics?Song Writing

Katy Perry mentions McDonald's, Beyoncé calls out Red Lobster, and Supertramp shouts out Taco Bell - we found the 10 restaurants most often mentioned in songs.

David Paich of Toto

David Paich of TotoSongwriter Interviews

Toto's keyboard player explains the true meaning of "Africa" and talks about working on the Thriller album.

Stan Ridgway

Stan RidgwaySongwriter Interviews

Go beyond the Wall of Voodoo with this cinematic songwriter.

How "A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss" Became Rock's Top Proverb

How "A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss" Became Rock's Top ProverbSong Writing

How a country weeper and a blues number made "rolling stone" the most popular phrase in rock.