Solange and Beyonce Knowles are the first sisters in history to have a number 1 album in the same year but don’t for a second think of Solange Knowles as just the sister of Beyonce - she is a star in her own right!
(Solange Knowles for Harper's Bazaar 2014)
An Actor, mother, singer, record label owner - Solange is a woman who has made a name for herself on her own accord, independent of her older sister. In a time of uproar and uncertainty across America, it’s important to be reminded of the people out there who are trying to make a difference - those people trying to do good things for the underprivileged and silenced, those people who actively seek to encourage others to do good, promote the value in others, the value in minorities and the worth of humans. Those people include the talented Ms Solange Knowles.
Solange has often spoken about her parents trying to keep her out of the spotlight so she could have a ‘semi’ normal teenage life (however normal it could be with a big sister selling multi platinum award winning albums...) but she was destined herself to be on the stage and at the age of 13 she was already back up dancing and signing for Destiny's Child. By 16 she released her first solo album titled Solo Star (2002) and while it was a bit poppy and certainly didn’t give her overnight success she doesn’t regret the album. She admits to having limited creative control on the album while being on a larger record label and a less mature taste in music. After a baby, a marriage breakdown and a relocation, she went on to make her second album Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams in 2008. While Solo Star was pop-oriented circa early 2000’s, her sophomore had Motown and blues influence written all over it. She did collaborations with Mark Ronson, Ce Lo Green and Pharrell and then in 2012 she followed up with the 1980s pop and R&B–inspired extended play True which featured hit single “Losing You”.
In 2013, Knowles announced the launch of her own record label, Saint Records, which she used to release her third full-length album, A Seat at The Table. Released in September, the making of the album was actually a four year long process. She has spoken in interviews about removing herself from normality and going away to the remote Cajun Country in Louisiana in order to just finish it. 21 tracks in total, the album, part memoir part cultural analysis, is personable on so many levels, not just from her viewpoint, but from that of many others as well. She created a platform for others to express their traumas, their emotions and their drive. The album reflects on struggle, realisation, determination and knowing our individual value as humans. Songs such as F.U.B.U describe the everyday racism people of colour face “When a nigga tryna board the plane, And they ask you, "What's your name again?, Cause they thinking, "Yeah, you're all the same." There is a wonderful interlude from her mother “Tina Taught me” on her perspective of ‘colour’ as well as singles “Don’t Touch My Hair” and “Cranes in The Sky” which came with music videos directed by her Husband Alan Ferguson.
She never set out to be her sister, she admires her for sure but has always done things independently. She has her own take on the way to do business in the industry and takes things at her own pace. With fingers (and toes) in a whole range of different projects, Solange is one talented and stylish woman to keep an eye on.