Janelle Monae upends David Bowie”s classic, “Heroes,” for Pepsi”s “Now is What You Make It” campaign.
For some of us, it takes a second to think about such an iconic song being used to shill a soft drink, but that”s the world we live in and, at least, the song is in very capable and respectful hands.
Monae takes Bowie”s somewhat ethereal, questioning approach and turns it into a more upbeat, affirmative statement, complete with a heavy back beat, while keeping the basic melody intact.
The shapeshifting Monae told Rolling Stone that she wasn”t intimidating by tackling the tune. “'Heroes” is one of my favorite Bowie songs. When you love your favorite song, you want to keep some of the beautiful qualities of the original, but we brought Atlanta in the drums and wanted them to be thick and hit hard. It”s like us reimagining it. I thought, ‘If this song was in my dream, how would it get from our dream to my reality?””
Plus, Monae, who also has music featured in “Rio 2,” says that Bowie is a Monae fan: “Bowie knows what”s up. He”s a fan and I”m a fan of him,” she said. “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.”
A commercial featuring the song will bow during the World Cup and Monae has already filmed an interactive video for the tune, featuring a number of soccer players.