SOLANGE SLAYS: A SEAT AT THE TABLE

Guilt riddled every inch of my body: I was a Brutus at worst and Judas at best. Beyonce was my Queen; my moon; my stars; my oracle; my alter ego; my bossgirl; my therapy; Survivor; Independent Woman; Nasty Girl and Happy Face all rolled into one. (Trust Bey to pull this all off with a small shimmy.) I never thought my love for her could get tested. But then Solange’s latest album sprang out of nowhere, and just as unexpectedly it left me musing –  Beyonce who…?

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A Seat At The Table is undoubtedly Solange’s defining album as an artist. One which has brought her out of her big sister’s shadow and cemented her own identity. Solange’s latest album fearlessly pushes boundaries that her previous ones failed to. The narrative is richer, the storytelling rawer; there’s no shying away from gender politics and racial discourse. Solange’s soothing and serene vocals add relief to these heavy-handed topics. The final result? It’s nothing short of magic: its music which nourishes the soul. Jazz, funk, gospel, soul and rap influences are beautifully merged. Collaborations with the likes of Q-Tip, Lil Wayne, Sampha and Kelela promise not to disappoint.

If you’ve listened to A Seat At The Table, I’m sure it’s been chronically on repeat – and if not, you’re in for one serious treat. Such a delightful one, I’ve stopped listening to Blonde (from the moment I slide out of bed in the morning, until I slink back into foetal at night) for Solange instead.

Better still, A Seat At The Table is the gift which keeps on giving. Here’s why it still has such a delicious appeal, 1000 listens later…

DON’T TOUCH MY HAIR

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The music industry has been starved of gratifying, hair-flicking moments since Willow Smith whipped her hair onto the scene, back in the year 2k. Six years on, Solange is mesmerisingly shaking her beaded tresses in an all-the-more empowering way.  

Don’t Touch My Hair is a song about self-preservation. A narrative about a black woman’s insecurities within her own skin, and how other’s behaviour can contribute to this. This song resonated with me on a personal level.

My mixed race afro hair has attracted lots of attention and wandering hands over the years. Usually, when someone asks if they can touch my hair, I feel it comes from a good place. Still, there’s been a number of times where I’ve felt uncomfortable with someone’s request – but equally too scared to say no. Solange shows its okay to say ‘no’ if you feel like your dignity is being comprised. This message extends to anyone whose hair, race or colour, diverges from the Western norm. Don’t Touch My Hair negates stigmas and stereotypes, weaving them into a powerful narrative of sisterhood and solidarity.

THE GOODIES KEEP ON COMING….

A lot can happen in one week. A Seat At The Table practically breaking the internet? Tick. Canadian-cool DJ Kaytranada weaving Cranes In The Sky into an equally ethereal mix? Tick. Prepare to fall even deeper under Solange’s spell…

YOU KNOW YOU’VE MADE IT WHEN A HEY ARTHUR MEME GETS MADE IN YOUR HONOUR #forreals

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IT SPARKED WANDERLUST

‘Cranes In The Sky’ was shot across a staggering 9 cities (yes, eat your heart out CNTraveler..). From majestic mountain tops to serene lakes and sultry dunes – let’s just say I’ve been permanently on Skyscanner since and its cookies are on to me…

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COLOUR CO-ORDINATION IS KEY #squadgoals. From soft nudes to gentle neutral palettes, to warm, colour-popping pastels (with the odd clash for good measure) ; ladies, get your block colours in formation…

 

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