Janelle Monae

David Bowie’s “Heroes” is one of those all-time world-stopping rock anthems, and it makes sense that Pepsi might want to tap some of its grandeur for a new ad campaign. And it also makes sense that they’d want to involve Janelle Monáe, a rare pop figure who can play the corporate-shill game without coming across as an absolute lameass. And so here we have Monáe covering “Heroes,” adding some big synths and drums and some perhaps-unnecessary production sheen but doing a pretty nice job with the chorus anyway. The cover is part of a new Pepsi ad campaign, and Monáe has already filmed an interactive video for the cover in Rio de Janeiro with a bunch of soccer stars. Listen below.

(via Rolling Stone)

Monáe tells Rolling Stone that Bowie is, um, a hero of hers, and that she and Bowie have something of a mutual-admiration thing going: “Bowie knows what’s up. He’s a fan and I’m a fan of him. The respect is mutual. I hear from his wife Iman that he’s a huge supporter of me, the way I dress and my music. I just hope that we made him proud.”

Comments (3)
  1. This is the first thing Janelle has ever done that I haven’t liked…. Those synths are truly atrocious. When I clicked this I imagined Janelle’s voice soaring over it and I thought it would be perfect but it is so untrue.

  2. Agreed – it just… sounds like something off a Pepsi advert, doesn’t it?

  3. This is great – I was very afraid based on the simple idea of covering such a timeless song (a few disastrous covers come to mind), but I really love it.

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