Solange Knowles has always been in a league of her own. The younger Knowles sister recalled her experience growing up with big sister Beyoncé in the March issue of Elle magazine, and the singer revealed that she sometimes felt like a bit of an outsider.
“My sister and Kelly [Rowland] were the same age, which is like a built-in best friend in the house; they were extremely close,” the A Seat at the Table songstress told the publication. “Writing felt like this insular thing that I could go back in my room and express all that I would observe, all the emotions that would arise. It felt like mine, my little thing.”
(In an interview for Interview magazine earlier this month, Solange told Beyoncé, her interviewer, that she “did a kickass job” at being a big sister. “You were the most patient, loving, wonderful sister ever,” she told the Lemonade hitmaker, 35. “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, 30, stuns on the cover of ELLE in a bright red, billowy Norma Kamali coat and matching textured pants by Pleats Please Issey Miyake. But, according to the singer, it wasn’t always an easy path toward the spotlight.
The “Losing You” musician had son Daniel Julez with her then husband Daniel Smith when she was just 17 years old, and raising him while also trying to jump-start her career was challenging, to say the least.
“It was one of the most bittersweet moments of my life because I was so in love with Julez, and having spent a lot of time on the road, I yearned to be in one place, to have the opportunity to really ground myself with him,” Solange said. “But it was isolating and lonely, and so cold and dark. And it was just Julez and me most of the time. It was hard to imagine being able to progress in my career in any way.”
Solange and Smith split in 2007 after three years of marriage. Now that she’s fully in charge of her own destiny, she said, she finally felt the time was ready to create an album that spoke to her viewpoints and voice. (She married video director Alan Ferguson in 2014 and scored her first No.1 album last fall, for A Seat at the Table.)
“I did want to create this juxtaposition, politically, of having these very hard, messy conversations but having them stylistically in a way that you can really hear me, and not the yelling, the rage,” she said of her 2016 album. “I wanted to project in my delivery what I was not achieving at all: peace and having a certain lightness and airiness that could maybe help me get closer to having more light and airiness in my life.”
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