In BUST’s April/May 2017 cover story, Solange talks with Jamia Wilson about her upbringing in her mom’s salon, her womanist awakening, her experiences as a black woman in the music industry, and of course, her incredible album A Seat At The Table. Take a sneak peek here, and make sure to subscribe to BUST or buy BUST on newsstands beginning next Tuesday, March 28th to see the whole eight-page feature.
On growing up in a house full of women:
‘I grew up in a house with five women. My mother, my sister B [Beyoncé], Kelly [Rowland, of Destiny’s Child] actually moved in with us when I was five. And my other — I also consider [her] my sister, but she’s actually my first cousin, Angie — she moved in with us when I was 13. So this household was all women’s work. Literally. And there was absolutely nothing that couldn’t be done between us. My father was super smart and brilliant and instilled many wonderful qualities in us, but my mother was really the heart and soul of the family.’
On her feminism:
‘I am a proud black feminist and womanist and I’m extremely proud of the work that’s being done. I’m a feminist who wants not only to hear the term intersectionality, but actually feel it, and see the evolution of what intersectional feminism can actually achieve. I want women’s rights to be equally honored, and uplifted, and heard…but I want to see us fighting the fight for all women — women of color, our LGBTQ sisters, our Muslim sisters. I want to see millions of us marching out there for our rights, and I want to see us out there marching for the rights of women like Dajerria Becton, who was body slammed by a cop while she was in her swimsuit for simply existing as a young, vocal, black girl. I think we are inching closer and closer there, and for that, I am very proud.’
On why mostly white women vocalists get praise for writing their own music:
‘I think that the black female voice, especially in R&B music, has always been kind of accessorized. Because I guess it’s supposed to be just so easy and effortless for us, as vocalists. [Singing] is something that a lot of people think we are just blessed with. But I consider myself a songwriter first, and in the trajectory of what I’m trying to create, singer comes last. I’m really invested in storytelling.’
On her videos for A Seat At The Table:
‘I think that as women, and as black women in general, we’re always having to fight two times harder. And you know, even with my videos, I was so invested in the visual storytelling, of wanting to see black men and women in the way that I see them every day, which is powerful but graceful but also vulnerable and also regal and stately. And how we use style as a language, and our pageantry, and how we communicate.’
Interview by Jamia Wilson
Photos by Nadya Wasylko // Styling by Peju Famojure // Makeup by Tracy Alfajora // Hair by Amy Farid // Nails by Miss Pop // Shot at Attic Studios
Excerpted from the April/May 2017 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!
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