Janelle Monae cries for lots of different reasons.

The 28-year-old soul singer released her third album The Electric Lady last year. She's also promoting her song What Is Love, which she recently performed on American Idol and features on the soundtrack for upcoming kids' film Rio 2.

In an open and honest interview with Q magazine, Janelle gave a glimpse at what she is like away from the spotlight.

"I cry for different reasons. I cried because I recently lost my first-grade teacher. She and I were really close. She was a great teacher. And I had tears of joy listening to a song in the studio. It was a friend's song. It was wonderful," she explained when asked when the last time she cried was.

Janelle has worked with dozens of well-known musicians since breaking into the music industry in 2007. She is close friends with legendary singer Prince and has hinted at an upcoming collaboration with another unnamed star.

"I spoke to [Prince] two days ago. I've played with him several times so we were catching up. I'm going to be doing more performances with him this year. Do I get to jump the queue for his secret shows? Well, I knew they were happening before the public, but I haven't been able to go yet!" she laughed. "Mmm... [the last person who asked to collaborate with me is] actually a secret because I am going to collaborate with them. It will be for my next album. It's a big person!"