Solange took A Seat at the Table with her critically acclaimed new album — an empowering R&B opus on black womanhood — and in the new issue of Interview, she sat down with big sister Beyoncé to talk about her rise to fame.
In addition to opening up about her third LP, the “Cranes in the Sky” singer, 30, and her sibling, 35, discussed the lessons they learned from their mom Tina Knowles Lawson, marriage, not feeling “bashful” about taking pride in their accomplishments and which Real Housewives franchise leaves Solange “in stitches.”
Here are five of the biggest revelations from Solange’s Interview cover story.
1. Mom’s know best.
“As far back as I can remember, our mother always taught us to be in control of our voice and our bodies and our work, and she showed us that through her example,” Solange said of mom Tina Knowles Lawson.
2. She’s done apologizing for being a strong woman.
“One thing that I constantly have to fight against is not feeling arrogant when I say I wrote every lyric on this album. I still have not been able to say that. That’s the first time I’ve actually ever said it, because of the challenges that we go through when we celebrate our work and our achievements,” Solange told Beyoncé in the interview.
“It’s something I’ve learned so much about from you, getting to be in control of your own narrative. And, at this point, it should be an expectation, not something that you’re asking permission for. I feel like I’m getting closer to that, not taking on all the baggage when I have to just stand up for myself and say, ‘No, I’m uncomfortable with that.’ And I really appreciate you and mom being examples of that, being able to speak about our achievements, these things that deserve to be celebrated, without feeling bashful about it.”
Furthermore, that empowerment and composure was a driving force behind her album A Seat at the Table, which she released in September.
“It was very intentional that I sang as a woman who was very in control, a woman who could have this conversation without yelling and screaming, because I still often feel that when black women try to have these conversations, we are not portrayed as in control, emotionally intact women, capable of having the hard conversations without losing that control,” she said.
3. She watches Bravo, just like the rest of us.
When asked by Beyoncé, “What makes you laugh the hardest?” Solange responded: “The Real Housewives of Atlanta, hands-down. I watch it religiously, and I am in stitches the whole time.”
4. Beyoncé is as cool of a big sister as you’d expect.
“You did a kick-ass job. You were the most patient, loving, wonderful sister ever. In the 30 years that we’ve been together, I think we’ve only really, like, butted heads … we can count on one hand,” Solange said.
Case in point: the time Bey introduced Solange to her rap idol.
“One of my proudest moments as a sister was when I was able to introduce you to your hero, Nas, and you cried and acted a fool,” Beyoncé said. “I was so surprised that Mrs. Too-Cool-For-Everything was acting a fool.”
5. She and husband Alan Ferguson are soulmates and collaborators.
Since their November 2014 NOLA nuptials, Solange and video director husband Alan Ferguson teamed up on the visual components of A Seat at the Table, traveling the world to piece together its breathtaking music videos, which, Solange said, only strengthened their bond.
“Only a person who loves me would say yes to shooting 21 scenes in one week and climbing mountains and literally crossing waterfalls with million-dollar equipment strapped to his back,” she said in Interview. “And only a person who loves you would say, ‘Let’s fly back to New Orleans, rent a car, and just you and I do that trip all over again.’ I was so happy to have a partner in crime because visual storytelling is just as important, if not more important in some ways, to the overall storytelling of my projects.”