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‘Happy Sad Confused,’ With Janelle Monáe And Damien Chazelle

We kick off the new year with two artists who represent the future

In the first “Happy Sad Confused” of the new year, it’s appropriate that Josh welcome two artists who very much represent the future. First up is Janelle Monáe, already a phenomenal music success story who has made a huge splash as an actor in recent months.

Despite never acting on-screen before, Monáe’s first film roles — in Moonlight and Hidden Figures — prove she’s a talent to be reckoned with, which comes as no surprise to anyone familiar with the rest of her career. Monáe chats with Josh about her path as an artist, why she’s always been a sci-fi lover, and the influence that her friend and mentor Prince had on her life.

Also joining Josh on the podcast this week is Damien Chazelle, the filmmaker behind Whiplash and the critically beloved La La Land. If you’ve seen Chazelle’s work, you know he’s the real deal. He lays out much of his creative vision and aspirations in this conversation.

The 31-year-old discusses his love of “crazy movies,” how a Miles Teller/Emma Watson version of his film (which nearly came to be) would have been different, and how a phone call from J.J. Abrams changed his career.