Janelle Monae covers David Bowie for new Pepsi campaign.
Ask Janelle Monae if she was scared or nervous to cover David Bowie's iconic "Heroes" as part of Pepsi's 2014 "Now Is What You Make It" campaign and the answer is blunt and resolute.
"Hellll no," she tells Rolling Stone from a "cave in Mexico City." "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."
Despite a basic adherence to the song's chord changes and gradual, grand buildup, Monae and her production team — the same group behind 2010's The ArchAndroid and 2013's The Electric Lady — radically update Bowie's 1977 classic. Eschewing the original's slow-burn guitar in favor of warbled dubstep-friendly synths, Monae transforms the track into an EDM/New Wave hybrid supporting her future soul vocals.