Janelle Monae's mother had ''a lot of questions'' about her daughter's sexuality.

The 33-year-old singer-and-actress revealed last year she is pansexual - meaning she is attracted to a person regardless of their sex or gender - and thought it was important to open up to her parents before disclosing her preferences publicly.

She said: ''I talked to my mom and dad first, and my mom, in particular, had a lot of questions.

''I said, 'Mama, the only way that I can create art is to truthfully tell my story. It has to come from an honest place, and this is who I honestly am. I don't know any other way. I have to talk about my sexuality. I have to talk about my blackness. I have to talk about my womanness. I have to talk about these things. This is who I am as a person.' ''

The 'Hidden Figures' actress thinks it is important for people to embrace their ''uniqueness'' but she has to work hard to feel empowered and ''fearless''.

She told InStyle magazine: ''Embracing your uniqueness is an active choice. I don't wake up looking flawless every morning. I don't wake up feeling empowered. I don't wake up feeling fearless. I have to actively choose to feel that way.

''I'm like Issa Rae in 'Insecure', like, 'Bitch, keep it together!'''

And Janelle isn't interested in fitting in within the music industry as she wants to forge her own path.

She said: ''I've always wanted to redefine what a cool young black woman looks like in the music industry. I was never interested in fitting into a system that wasn't built for me or with me in mind. I'm interested in burning that s**t down and building something new.''