Janelle Monae to release two albums in 2012

Janelle Monae returned to her hometown of Kansas City, Kan., on Friday to visit her family and to appear with Kansas City Mayor Sly James at the Mayor's Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at Crown Center on Friday night. Before a pre-ceremony reception in the American Restaurant, she met with members of the local media. Here's what she had to say during our brief interview:

Word is you're working on the next record. What can you say about it?

I am happy to be here and see my family, and I am eager to get back to the studio and work on finishing my album. I stopped touring so I could finish the album. Actually, I plan on releasing two albums next year.

Any idea when?

I will release them according to my soul clock; so I reserve the right to change that. But I will try to stick to the scheduled release dates, which I know but can't say. I will be thinking about Kansas City and all the people here who have supported me as I continue to write songs that empower, encourage and make you dance.

Will these new records build on the themes you established in your first two recordings?

Again, that's all according to my soul clock. Right now all I can say is, the music comes from the space I'm in.

How far along are you in your writing?

I would say 84.799 percent of the writing is done.

Will you tour next year?

Oh, absolutely. We already have a tour set, but it hasn't been announced yet. I'll be with some really big artists. We'll hit the Staples Center three nights in a row in L.A. It's a really big band. I can't say who it is. I think next week you should probably hear something.

You've performed in this area three times as an opening act: with Of Montreal in Lawrence; with Bruno Mars in Independence; and with Katy Perry at the Sprint Center. Will you headline a show in Kansas City next year?

Absolutely. Everything is about timing. This year was about the beginning of my career and working with established artists. Next year, we'll step it up a little more.

P.S.: Monae has one more live show on her schedule this year, and it will be under some bright lights. She will be in Oslo, Norway, on Dec. 11, joining Jill Scott, Sugarland, Ellie Goulding, David Gray and others in the Nobel Peace Prize Concert.

The concert is a tribute to this year's winners, three women honored for their nonviolent campaigns for women's safety and women's rights: Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee of Libya and Tawakkol Karman of Yemen.

Sources: 1, 2

dancing to celebrate this glorious occasion