Life could be so easy for Solange Knowles, the little sister with the big family name. As Beyonce’s kid sibling and Matthew and Tina’s baby girl the burden of expectation on this young woman’s shoulders would be enough to bury even the broadest of frames. But there’s so much more to this multi-talent than meets the eye.
Instead of riding on the coattails of her famous family’s success Solange is taking her destiny into her own hands, carving out an identity for herself that’s both distinct and extremely likeable. She’s resolutely her own woman.
Solange has clearly come of age. Married at 17, a mother at 18 and divorced at 19, the 21-year-old Texan has experienced many ups and downs but has dealt with life in a goldfish bowl with grace, dignity and self-assuredness well beyond her years. Now she is wholeheartedly embracing independence and quietly claiming her shine.
Beautiful, talented and free-spirited, the singer, actress and entrepreneur took time out to talk frankly to Clutch. She discusses her life, loves and intriguingly titled new album SoL-Angel and the Hadley Street Dreams. With refreshing honesty and no-nonsense zeal, Solange’s down-to-earth nature shows that being real, like being a Knowles, is her signature style.
Clutch: Tell us about your new album? Great title!
Thank you. Hadley St. Dreams is a collection of 60’s and 70’s influenced songs that tell stories of where I have been the last couple years. It was really important for me lyrically to touch on things more than relationship journeys because life is more than that.
Clutch: How is it different from your previous work and from everything else out there at the moment?
First off, it is my job as an ARTist to create art. So many people use that term loosely and sell a voice or a visual that has no creative backing. When I was 15, 17, 19 most of the time I made records, films or was attached to projects because of the opportunities and the checks. Not because it was a creative, stimulating piece. Everything from my artwork to my video to the music itself has to have a message and not because it’s “hot” or it looks sexy.
Clutch: What’s your favorite song on the album and why?
“God Given Name” tells my story of where I am today more than any other. I said unapologetically who I am, and I didn’t spare any vocab.
Clutch: How do you combine music and motherhood?
Well as an artist, seeing the fearlessness and bravery in my son has inspired me; I’m my workplace. I see life through different eyes now. Being a mom turned me from girl to woman. I definitely have lived.
Clutch: What has being a mother taught you?
Motherhood has been the best thing that ever happened to me. All of the minor problems that were so major before seem to fade away easier. I have reason more than ever to want to grow mentally, emotionally and spiritually. It has also made me tough. If I have a bad day or a disappointing event in my life I have to put on my brave face for Julez. I’ve had my share of breakups, and I have to be a big girl for my baby. He’s worth every second of the day.
Clutch: Has it made you see your own parents in a different way?
Definitely, I used to think parents weren’t allowed to make mistakes. I appreciate them in a whole new light of wisdom and sacrifice.
Clutch: How hard is it dating when you’re in the public eye?
Hell yeah! Folks are so interested in that area of your life. Famous, non famous—people love to be in the cut of peoples’ relationships. Most of all being a mom and a divorcee has made me have low tolerance for BS. You get about two strikes around here, but you have to be careful because people will try to make you look crazy if you switch them out instead of celebrating someone who doesn’t settle. Hehehe. I’m young, I’ve been married, and I’m an attractive, successful young lady. Of course you’re going to see me dating.
Clutch: Is there any sisterly rivalry between you and Beyonce?
Not at all. Too many years apart I think.
Clutch: Who are you currently listening to on your iPod? Who are your favorite artists?
Loving Adele, Sia, Justice, Bjork. I listen to a lot of electronic music. Most of my favorite artists are from other countries. I’m always listening to Zero 7, John Mayer. Recently a guy pissed me off, (LOL) so I put in the Destiny Fulfilled album and Brandy’s last one—great “get over a guy” albums. R&B is always good shit-talking music.
Clutch: What do you prefer—singing or acting—and why?
They are both forms of art that express me well. I actually feel like writing is my first true love and the one I’m best at. I could definitely use more experience in acting considering I have played a 17-year-old girl in a car and a cheerleader [LOL].
Clutch: What’s the biggest misconception about you that you’d like to correct?
EFF misconceptions, pardon my French. I like a good laugh every once in a while. I stopped trying to “prove” and “undo” misconceptions a while ago. I’m unexplainable. Most Humans are. :)
Clutch: How would you sum up your outlook on life?
I’m in a good place right now. I look at life like a canvas and I choose the colors and as I grow to finish it, I figure out which strokes to use. I am pretty fearless right now. I think confidence is one of the best qualities to have. I’m not making apologies or begging for people to like me. I’m very optimistic that God has plans for me. When you truly find peace with yourself and who you are becoming it’s a beautiful moment.
Clutch: Describe yourself in five words.
I am . . . water, mass, blood, melanin, bones.
Clutch: What do you do to relax?
Write, go to the beach . . . the ocean is where I am most serine and at peace. Discover new wines, but most of all PRAY.
Clutch: You’ve taken to blogging a lot. Are you a techno nerd?
Not at all, I’m actually halfway blonde when it comes to computers. I just like my voice to be heard every once and a while. I’m the best person to tell my story, and technology is another alley to express that.
Clutch: What’s next for you?
My album will be out August 26th. My video is coming out early June. I’ve also been doing some writing on a few albums coming out this year. Constantly growing and evolving as an artist and most recently as a performer. I’m on tour with Chrisette Michelle and Raheem DeVaughn.
Clutch: You’re going on a big night out with your girls. Who do you roll with and what three things do you carry in your clutch?
My Phone, my credit card and my I.D.