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Janelle Monáe covers Bowie for Pepsi

By | Published on Thursday 3 April 2014

Janelle Monae

Janelle Monáe has recorded a new version of David Bowie’s ‘Heroes’ for a Pepsi advert, which is being used to soundtrack an ad created as part of the drinks brand’s new #FutbolNow campaign.

What’s all that about then? Good question, I’m glad you asked. Well, for the football-focussed campaign Pepsi has lined up nineteen of the world’s finest players. In the new advert, a few of them, along with Monáe, have been shipped over to Rio de Janeiro.

Why? Well not because of the upcoming World Cup in Rio, that’s for sure. Because Coca Cola is the official sponsor of that. This is just because they had a vote, and everyone decided they’d like a trip to Rio. “It was really cool”, said Monáe to Billboard of the ad shoot. “I admire all the players and soccer and just sports in general”.

Yeah, you’re right, that does sound like she’s not really sure what “the players”, “soccer”, or “just sports in general” are. But she definitely put to rest any suggestion that she might just be saying any old nonsense for a press release by adding: “The teamwork those players experience is very similar to how I have my own business, my recording label, my band and how we’re a team and when we have great shows at places like South By Southwest we can all just share in that moment and remember it for the rest of our lives. I was just excited to be amongst other people who can understand what that feels like”.

Speaking about her cover of ‘Heroes’, she said: “We all loved the original so much, however we wanted to put some Atlanta in it, some down South in it, and a little bit of Rio in it and make it our own. We love David Bowie, and he’s a fan [of my music] as well, so we just wanted to make him proud”.

I’d put a link to the video here, so that you can see what I’ve been talking about. But, frankly, if Pepsi want me to start pointing people toward their adverts, they can bloody well pay for it. It’s bad enough we’re even talking about all this at all. Here’s Monáe’s ‘Hereoes’ cover in audio form instead: