Singer (and mommy) Solange recently sat down with Honey Magazine and talked about a lot of interesting things, including raiding Bjork’s closet, fashion, her new haircut, her son and her new album, among other things. She even touched a bit on her “relationship” with rapper Wale, which she sort of denied but at the same time left the possibility open.
Well, speaking of assumptions. I think a lot of people have been zeroing in on Twitter convos between you and a certain Mr. Wale, automatically linking the two of you together. Then we see Central Park photos…
Whether we’re rooting for it or not… we just want to know.
Well, he’s definitely not my boyfriend.
Well, we can cross that off the list.
No, I just stated that he’s not my boyfriend, but we are good friends. I have worked with him in the past and I think he’s uber-talented. I think he’s really smart and really creative. And I respect his art. We have a mutual thing. We’re on the same record label and yeah…
Continue reading for more of the interview!
Let’s just start with the question that’s on everyone’s minds: the big chop. We fell in love with the cut right away. We wanted to shoot you before the cut, but we were really excited when we saw it because we could really get fashion-y.
I guess you just go through different phases in your life. I was pretty much at the point where I needed the change and I needed to focus my energy on more productive arenas. I was putting too much into my appearance and I needed to make this about growth and going to the next stage of my life. I felt like I was being distracted by something as simple as hair. I’ve always been really fearless about change. I’ve cut my hair the same way when I was 16 and again when I was 18. This was my third time.
I saw a picture. That was really cool. I didn’t know you had done it three times.
Yeah, the picture that I supposedly Photo-shopped (laughs). A friend of mine was like ‘People are so stupid. I read somewhere that it was recent and you Photo-shopped the color.’ I was like ‘Yeah, because it’s that crucial.’
Let’s talk about the Honey shoot, you coming in and seeing all those crazy clothes that you fell in love with. How was your experience shooting with us?
It was amazing. You guys had the best energy of a shoot to me — I was just talking about it last night on Twitter. I really admire and study and respect the brilliance of fashion. I don’t live, breathe, eat, drink and depend on fashion to be more than what it is. I think when you have that frame of mind you really can go there. You really have no resignations about putting looks together that are just fun and fearless and that’s what you guys provided and allowed me to do so I was really happy.
Good. Who’s closet would you raid if you had the chance to do it?
Probably Björk. It would be a tie between her and Grace [Jones], but I think I’d have to go with Björk because over the years there have been so many different phases and extremes and color. I am a person who loves color and I think it’s the most beautiful backdrop for life.
You talked a little bit about your stages for fashion and philosophy but what would you say this stage is in your style evolution? What are you looking toward for spring 2010?
I think right now, I’m learning how to incorporate completely different extremes as to my last record, it was just like an overstimulation of extremes, which I love. Now, I’m learning how to have one more simple extreme or one more statement extreme, and learning how to blend those together. But you probably will still see me rocking animal print as I did the other day. Someone cracked up laughing and was like ‘Where the hell do you think you’re going with flannel, leopard and stripes?’ I was like ‘I’m going to tackle my day.’
I love it. Let’s talk about Julez. We are big fans of your Twitter here. A lot of your conversations revolve around your experience as a mother, your son, and your family. I think that it’s really cool to see a young mom still being herself, taking care of her child, and sharing these hilarious stories with us.
Do you have any advice to industry moms in particular, or just young working moms who still want to be themselves?
I think balance is the essential key to motherhood. I think it’s a really hard rhythm to find, but if you learn how to capture it, it makes the rewards so beautiful. I try not to ever be away from him unless he’s with his dad. We have equal custody, so we work together on it, but it definitely gets hard when I have all these opportunities coming at me. I have to say no to a lot of things because at the end of the day I know that no matter how many awards or accolades or praise or money I get, the one thing that really is a judgment of me is what kind of mother I am. A lot of people feel like their life has to stop because of the child, and they have to let go of their interests. You definitely have to compromise some of them, but I’ve been really blessed. When I went to see Grace Jones, Julez was right there with me. Julez is right there with me when I go for my bike rides. And when I go on tour, he’s with me. And I feel so blessed to be in the position to do that.
Does he realize when he’s doing these things that Mommy’s not the average mommy — going on tour, going to do this and that.
He does now. I don’t think he realized it in the beginning, but the good thing is that he’s humble about it. If I ever see that he’s not, he will get snapped back before he can blink his eyes.
Now, you have your new album.
Yes, I’m working on it now.
I’m assuming you’re going in a new direction or at least evolving with your sound.
I am definitely evolving. The interesting thing about my record is that I did it so long ago. I started writing and experimenting with that sound when I moved to Idaho. It took a few years before it actually came out. By that time I still loved it. It was definitely a concept record. I was really inspired by the ’60s and ’70s sound, mixed with electronic sounds and how to mash those together. With this record I am experimenting more with a really interesting mix of music. My describing it probably sounds crazy but I’m kind of working with tribal, Native American drums and mashing them with weird ’80s and blues. I have been exposed to so many different great forms of music. It’s definitely going to be an experimental album. I’m working with so many great people on this record, so many different bands and musicians.
Can you name a few of them?
I’ve been working with Kevin Barnes from of Montreal, an incredible band. I’m about six songs in and maybe four of them will make it. I’m still establishing the sound, but what I’m really focusing on is doing everything independently. I’ve been A&R-ing the project and staying on top of the budgets. I’ve been producing myself, and learning the backside of making the record financially because I didn’t do as much of that the last record. I really want to be in a place where I feel no pressure with my record sales. I really just want to have the experimental space to make a record that if 30,000 people like it, I’ll feel really proud — even more than the last one. There are so many adventurous artists — a good friend of mine, Janelle Monae, who’s incredible, and Santigold and some of the more popular indie artists who are opening up the doors to people’s ears. I feel good about it. I hope that people are able to take this journey with me because it is a lot different than the last record.
Is there anyone that you want to work with that you have not had the pleasure of working with yet for your own music? I hate asking this question because it’s so cliché but I feel like you would give us a cool list of people.
Yeah! It’s a crazy list. I want to work with Grizzly Bear. The thing is, I’m really wanting to — I’m so super honest, I probably shouldn’t even say this — but there’s a lot people I want to work with but they charge an arm and a leg. There are so many talented kids around that are so experimental. I would love to work with Pharrell or Kanye West because I think they’re incredibly talented. They could probably go as left as they want to and I would be that artist that would say, ‘I don’t care.’ I want to work with a lot of lesser known bands. I work with a guy, Theophilus London, who’s sort of like a rapper, but he does a lot of Afro-beats. There are so many great people now, I’m really excited to get in [the studio] even if doesn’t work out, just being able to get in there and experiment. It’s a great feeling.
Five words to describe yourself?
Water, blood, melanin, bones, and … vajajay.
Five words that the public would use to describe you?
The general perception is that I am crazy, maybe? That I am attention-seeking. But I think everyone can say that I’m smart. At least I think I come across smart. I don’t really know (laughs) because I don’t really care.
What is your favorite hangover cure?
I’m typically one of those people who’s never hung over. I really try to be responsible with my drinking. I just kind of deal with it.
Would you describe yourself as a rebel?
I think we covered all of the bases. Thank you so much! Let us know about the album.
Of course. Thank you so much for all of the support and representing black women in a more diverse way. Ya’ll do a great job of that.