And those three words are so fitting for her.
Infamous for being the younger sister to megastar Beyoncé, Solange once lived in the shadow of her sister’s relentless talent and ambition. She was formerly a back-up dancer for Destiny’s Child and when she decided to pursue her Solo (pun intended) career, fell pregnant, got married and moved to a new town. Isolated and alone she divorced her husband and started all over.
An individual and an anomaly, there really is no other Solange. A unique individual, Solange moves to the beat of her own drum, treading on uncharted territory and opening doors for other young, black people. Her style and vision is unparalleled. A constant inspiration to many. Her own 2014 wedding to director husband, Alan Ferguson, had us all in our feels and shifted the way we envision weddings and wedding hairstyles at that.
2016 is the year I think the world finally stared Solange’s talent in the face with her number one album ‘A Seat At The Table’. Yes, she had been referred to as the ‘it’ girl when it came to her fashion and style. But I don’t think folks took her very seriously. But look at God! His delay is never a denial. This album placed her and Beyoncé in the elite group of siblings with number one albums on the Billboard 200, all in the same year. A great feat that was seemingly long overdue, but right on time.
This year she turned the big 3.0. – a pivotal age for most and she managed to do the most as she entered into this new chapter. She did so with so much style on a birthday trip with friends and family to White Sands, New Mexico with an Instagram feed that left us all with deep-seeded FOMO as she frolicked with her friends in matching AWAVEAWAKE frocks against a stunning white backdrop. Just one of the many ways Solo sets trends and raises the bar.
A Seat At The Table
“I’m weary of the ways of the world.”
The opening line on track two of her album sums up the tone of the album. This is not a pop-licked project for folks to dance to and forget their woes.
In actual fact, quite the contrary. This album forces you to think about your woes as a black person in the world, specifically in America.
She resigns, questions, struggles, fights, stands tall, defies and cries unapologetically on this project with so much finesse and beauty. This record, though tackling real and painful issues, does so without portraying the stereotype of an ‘angry black woman’. No. Solange strikes an incredible balance of making her voice heard whilst practising great restraint over an angelic backdrop as her melodious voice flitters and floats in exquisitely delicate harmonies.
That is why this project is so special. It took four years to come to life (one of her songs and a fave of mine, ‘Cranes in the Sky’, was actually written 8 years ago).
Her story epitomises what it means to stay true to yourself and your vision whilst patiently pursuing your purpose. She has managed to forge her own path so beautifully and rise above in spite of all adversity.
One of my greatest inspirations. Slay on Solo Slayah!