‘Turntables’ marks Janelle’s first new original music since her third solo album, ‘Dirty Computer’, was released in 2018, and sees the singer advocate for voters rights ahead of the upcoming 2020 presidential election in the US, especially in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Speaking about the track on Apple Music, she said: “I, like a lot of people just as humans, especially being black in America, I’ve been experiencing a lot of trauma around seeing black bodies murdered, like humans murdered. I struggle with talking about it because it is like a wound that we’re reopening. We’ve been screaming Black Lives Matter.
“And so I’ve been emotionally debilitated, but I got an opportunity to get back into the studio to talk about or to create lyrics that [doesn’t] keep us reminded of that trauma, but keep us moving forward and remind us that things are changing.
“We are changing things. The tables are turning. The rooster has come home to roost. So this song is capturing direction. And when you think about a record, when you think about a record spinning, when you think about the revolutions per minute, it’s all connected. And that is what this song means.”
Janelle wrote the track alongside Nathaniel Irvin III, and George A. Peters after “watching and examining” the world over the past few months, as she wanted to “highlight” the work of those fighting for “democracy”.
She added: “This song doesn’t mean that I’m the leader, that I’m here to tell you what to do, how to fix things. I’m simply watching, examining and wanting to highlight all of the people who are on the front lines, fighting for our democracy, fighting against racial inequalities, fighting against white supremacy, fighting against systemic racism and systemic oppression.
“So this song is to keep us motivated. This song is to lift up and keep us galvanised when we’re fatigued. And this song is really for the people.”
‘Turntables’ will feature in Amazon’s ‘All In: The Fight For Democracy’ documentary, which will premiere on Amazon Prime Video on September 18.