Solange Knowles wields a considerable amount of freedom in her career, look and love life. Whether she’s DJing for a fashion party, traveling with her son Julez or singing about lost love to an upbeat tune, you get the idea that Solange plays the game by her own rules.

The beauty, who covers Complex Magazine‘s June/July 2013 issue, reveals why she’s fought so hard to be independent in her fashion choices and her career as a music artist via Glamazons Blog:

On becoming fearless in fashion at an early age:
One day, she wore a “full-on Native American outfit” to Will Rogers Elementary School in Houston. “I had my own little quirks as a child,” Solange says. “I had a very vivid imagination, mostly through my style and fashion choices. The kids had a lot to say.” Her fourth-grade teacher, Miss Bethann, found Solange on the verge of tears in her Pocahontas costume outside of the classroom and gave her a lesson that stuck with her: “Don’t you ever, ever bend or break because of who you are.”

On loving Houston’s hip hop scene:
At 20, she moved back home after splitting with her husband and “wil’ed out for a little while,” she says, finally breaking free from the confines of her teenage years. “Houston’s hip-hop scene was in the forefront,” Solange recalls. “I remember going to all of these shows: Paul Wall, Bun B, Mike Jones, Slim Thug. I enjoyed the freedom and the newness of experiencing people and a world that I had not had much access to.”

On the challenges she faces as an indie artist:
Being indie has taken its toll, but Solange seems to embrace the challenge. She explains how she pooled her own frequent-flier miles with her mom’s to fly a crew to Cape Town, South Africa, to shoot the “Losing You” video. “It’s an independent label, so with that creative independence comes some financial independence,” she says, laughing. “I had to get very creative with how I was gonna pull it all together. Having an intimate team makes you much more resourceful. It comes out the way you want it to, and there’s not a committee of thinkers and observers.”

On an upcoming album and living life on her own terms:
“Someone asked me, ‘What quarter are you trying to come out?’ I was like, ‘Oh my God, I haven’t heard that in so long!’” Solange cracks up at the thought. She says she’s looking forward to working on her full-length album with Hynes, but isn’t pressed. “It’s just about putting the music out when it’s ready. When I wake up in the morning, I get dressed for myself, I listen to what I wanna listen to, I make decisions for me. It’s been interesting to navigate that from such a young age so publicly. But life is short and you have to live for you. I would never wanna look back on my life and feel like I missed out on any of that.”

Her lease on life is so inspiring in a business where most artists profit by being inauthentic. From Solange’s natural hair to her unconventional sound, her willingness to be unique and true to herself has truly paid off.

Check out more pictures from her Complex Magazine shoot here.

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