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Music / Solange

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I saw things I imagined

"It's like cranes in the sky
sometimes I don't wanna feel those metal clouds"

Solange Piaget Knowles (born June 24, 1986), known mononymously as Solange, is a singer, songwriter, producer, music video director and actress from Houston, Texas.

Being in the Knowles family and a touring member of Destiny's Child, she was involved in the music industry from an early age, releasing her debut album Solo Star at age 16. While it wasn't commercially successful, she was already involved in the production and songwriting aspects of the record.

After taking a hiatus from music, during which she had a number of minor roles in films, Solange released her second album, Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams in the year 2008. Even though it was in its majority rooted firmly in the R&B, soul and pop genres, it did take influences from more alternative and electronic sounds, which would continue to influence her on the rest of her career.

In 2012, she put out her EP True, made in collaboration with Dev Hynes (a.k.a. Blood Orange). This record was heavily inspired by 80's new wave, synthpop and R&B which made her a name in the indie circles as well as with most critics.

Her album A Seat at the Table came out in 2016, and it was one of the most acclaimed releases of that year. In it, she explored themes of black identity, racism, violence and her own personal experiences. It earned Solange her first Grammy and her first number one record.

When I Get Home was surprise-released in 2019, featuring some of her most abstract and experimental music to date, and it was accompanied by a visual film so far exclusively released on Apple Music.

Solo Discography:

  • Solo Star (2002)
  • Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams (2008)
  • True (EP) (2012)
  • A Seat At The Table (2016)
  • When I Get Home (2019)

Tropes in her works:

  • Break Up Song: "Some Things Never Seem to Fucking Work" and "Losing You".
  • Broken Record: "Things I Imagined", "Dreams" and "Beltway" from When I Get Home repeat the same refrains over and over as a sort of mantra.
  • Cool Big Sis: Solange and her sister Beyonce has always been each other's biggest fan. Beyonce wrote several songs with her and even invited Solange to perform stage several times.
    • Beyonce even reference the infamous elevator incident in 2014 (where she beats up and spit on Jay-Z while Beyonce just stands by) in her song "Cozy".
  • Cover Version: She's performed a cover of the Dirty Projectors' "Stillness Is the Move", a song partly inspired by her sister.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: The first line of "Cranes in the Sky" is "I tried to drink it away."
  • Fading into the Next Song: This happens a lot in both A Seat at the Table and When I Get Home.
  • Genre Mashup: Starting with Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams, arguably one of the first examples of Alternative R&B.
    • True incorpored elements of new wave and synthpop to the mix.
    • A Seat at the Table incorporated elements of sophisti-pop, jazz, and rap as well as more ethereal music. When I Get Home is a bit similar in style, though it included more elements of trap, psychedelic and even ambient music.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: Many songs across A Seat at the Table are sonically light and dreamy while touching themes of racism and violence.
  • Minimalistic Cover Art: True, as well the singles taken from it.
  • She Also Did: The theme song to The Proud Family with Destiny's Child backing her.
  • Textless Album Cover: A Seat at the Table and When I Get Home.