Solange solo is a force — her lyrics bite, her music soothes and sparkles, and her interpretive dance moves are next-level. And then there’s her older sister Beyoncé, who is simply referred to as the Queen, capital Q. When you pair them together, whatever happens is pretty much guaranteed to be amazing — aka, the time they performed on stage together at Coachella in 2014.
After interviewing my mother and father for A Seat At The Table, it feels like full circle to have chosen my sister to interview me for @InterviewMag. Spoke about womanism, growing up in a hair salon, and choosing between "I could fall in love" and "No Me Queda Mas". It is one of my favorites to date.
So when Queen Bey interviewed Solange for Interview, the result was, naturally, amazing. In the long, rambling piece, we learned all about the sisters’ relationship — and got a better sense of the way they interact. Though the interview itself is long, we assembled our favorite parts for a quick primer on the piece (in case you don’t have a good chunk of time to settle in and read the whole thing).
“One thing that I constantly have to fight against is not feeling arrogant when I say I wrote every lyric on this album,” Solange said. “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 added that she learned about owning her achievements from her big sis. “It's something I've learned so much about from you, getting to be in control of your own narrative,” she said. “And, at this point, it should be an expectation, not something that you're asking permission for.”
Turns out Solange is a Real Housewives devotee, and Beyoncé had no idea. “What makes you laugh the hardest?” Beyoncé asked.
“The Real Housewives of Atlanta, hands-down,” her sister replied.
Bey’s response is priceless: “Really?! I didn't know that.”
Solange copped to it hard, though. “I watch it religiously, and I am in stitches the whole time,” she said.
“I was with you the week leading up to your release, and it's the most nervous time for any artist, but I know it was a nervous time for you,” Beyoncé said.
“Yeah. I was breaking out into hives,” Solange replied. “I could not sit still. It was terrifying.” But later in the interview, she also admitted that she developed hives at a Diana Ross show. Bey blew her cover by announcing that Solange completely freaked out when she met Nas, and asked if Solange would react that way if she met anyone else famous. “Diana Ross. For sure. I broke out in some hives when I went to her concert,” Solange said. Somebody send over some antihistamines!
When Solange wrote "Cranes in the Sky,” it was eight years ago, and she was in a lot of pain. “It was a really rough time,” Solange said. “I was just coming out of my relationship with Julez's father. We were junior high school sweethearts, and so much of your identity in junior high is built on who you're with. You see the world through the lens of how you identify and have been identified at that time.”
Now that she was single, she put aside her identities of being a mom and a wife and had a hard look at who she really was. “I really had to take a look at myself, outside of being a mother and a wife, and internalize all of these emotions that I had been feeling through that transition,” she said. “I was working through a lot of challenges at every angle of my life, and a lot of self-doubt, a lot of pity-partying. And I think every woman in her 20s has been there — where it feels like no matter what you are doing to fight through the thing that is holding you back, nothing can fill that void.” If it’s good enough for Solange, it’s good enough for the rest of us.
Bey pulled out the big guns at the end and asked how she did as an older sister. Without missing a beat, Solange answered, “You did a kickass job. You were the most patient, loving, wonderful sister ever,” she continued. “In the 30 years that we've been together, I think we've only really, like, butted heads ... we can count on one hand.”
Yeah, it’s official: Bey and Solange are among the sweetest sisters ever.
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