Not every interview is an event, but Solange speaking to her big sis and just tipping over her jar of wisdom pearls for us to gather and string into like a sick choker or something, now that’s a moment. For ‘A Seat At the Table’, Solange interviewed mama Tina and her father Matthew, so she felt that requesting Beyoncé to call her up for Interview magazine would make everything come full-circle. I bless this concept and I bless Andy Warhol. Since we weren’t able to see her perform 'Rise', 'Weary' and 'Cranes In The Sky' at the #ObamaFarewell (don’t get me started) event this week, this interview more than makes up for it as Solo talks freely about womanism, knowing what you want from the jump, creating your own creative spaces if need be and finding inspiration by just looking up. Here are a couple important lessons from this talk that I want to embroider on the nearest soft furnishing. SIT FIRM AND TRUST YOUR GUT Not listening to the voice inside often resulted in not-so-good times for Solange. Having a strong sense of intuition is not to be ignored, so sit firm whether you’re wrong or you’re right in the moment because your gut leads you where you need to be.
BE IN CONTROL OF YOUR WORK Following Mama Tina’s example, Solange believes that if you have an idea, you follow it through from A to Z and don’t hand control over to someone else. That doesn’t mean you don’t need a team, you most certainly do, but who better to tell your story than yourself? Being in control of your own narrative ‘should be an expectation, not something you’re asking permission for’. Don’t feel arrogant or shy, try to celebrate your achievements if you don’t want someone else to get the credit (Björk laid it all out for her). BUILD YOUR OWN PLATFORM Solange and Beyoncé were raised not to accept the first thing that came their way. “Build your own platforms and spaces, if at first they’re not available to you”. This really is the kicker in this interview.
WORK THROUGH IT In order to be a better mom, wife, sister and friend Solange used working on ASATT as an opportunity to unravel some truths and untruths in her life. Talking to your family, discussing those daily little hurtful experiences in the group text, it all helps to align the things you need to investigate in order to grow and heal. IF YOU CAN’T ARTICULATE IT, DO IT YOURSELF Producing, composing and writing the album (every single lyric comes from Solange) was a completely new experience for her, but it came from a need for ‘something outside of what I could articulate and lead someone else to do’. It can be scary and make you insecure, but it’s worth conquering in the end.
LOOK AROUND YOU ‘Cranes In The Sky’ was actually inspired by Solange seeing Miami high-rises being built just before the economic crisis of 2008. Instead of dealing with what was festering underneath, people just built up and up until everything came crashing down in the end. “I think every woman in her twenties has been there—where it feels like no matter what you are doing to fight through the thing that is holding you back, nothing can fill that void.” Looking around her is a big inspiration for Solange, but being on the internet ‘too damn much’ is too, of course. (And shout-out to the Real Housewives of Atlanta as well!) THERE’S BEAUTY IN TRANSITION The striking ASATT album cover, shot by Carlota Guerrero, signifies the beauty that can be found in moments of transition. Keeping the hair clips meant to create waves in on the official portrait was a symbol for ‘holding it down until you can get to the other side’.
YOU CAN WORK WITH THE PEOPLE YOU LOVE Beyoncé encouraged Solange to work with her husband Alan Ferguson on the visuals for the album, despite her initial misgivings, and it’s an experience she’ll treasure for life. Only people who love you like crazy will be prepared to go the extra mile for you and can urge you to go on when you feel depleted. I completely can’t with this interview and these are just a few gems from the story. You just have to read the full piece here and quench your soul and maybe cry and text your own sister. Images: Mikael Jansson Styling: Karl TemplerHair: Chuck AmosMake-up: Mark CarrasquilloManicure: Megumi YamamotoSet design: Gerard Santos