Interview’s latest cover story features Beyoncé interviewing her sister Solange. As with our own Solange interview, the conversation delves deep into formative experiences from her childhood. Among other topics, they also discuss the similarities between A Seat At The Table narrator Master P and their father, Matthew Knowles:
SOLANGE: Well, I find a lot of similarities in Master P and our dad.
BEYONCÉ: Me, too. [laughs]
SOLANGE: One of the things that was really, really deep for me in talking to Dad is his experience of having the community choose you [as one of the first students to integrate his Southern elementary and junior high school] — to do that, to go out and be the warrior and the face of that is just such an incredible amount of pressure. And to evolve from that and still have your sense of independence and still have your stride and your strength, and to dream big enough that you can create something from the ground up bigger than any community, neighborhood, or those four corners … I remember reading or hearing things about Master P that reminded me so much of Dad growing up. And they also have an incredible amount of love and respect for one another. And I wanted a voice throughout the record that represented empowerment and independence, the voice of someone who never gave in, even when it was easy to lose sight of everything that he built, someone invested in black people, invested in our community and our storytelling, in empowering his people. You and I were raised being told not to take the first thing that came our way, to build our own platforms, our own spaces, if they weren’t available to us. And I think that he is such a powerful example of that.
Later, Solange explains the thinking behind her portrait on the album cover:
I wanted to create an image that invited people to have an up-close and personal experience—and that really spoke to the album title—that communicated, through my eyes and my posture, like, “Come and get close. It’s not going to be pretty. It’s not going to be perfect. It’s going to get a little gritty, and it might get a little intense, but it’s a conversation we need to have.” I wanted to nod to the Mona Lisa and the stateliness, the sternness that that image has. And I wanted to put these waves in my hair, and to really set the waves, you have to put these clips in. And when Neal, the hair stylist, put the clips in, I remember thinking, “Woah, this is the transition, in the same way that I’m speaking about on ‘Cranes.'” It was really important to capture that transition, to show the vulnerability and the imperfection of the transition—those clips signify just that, you know? Holding it down until you can get to the other side. I wanted to capture that.
The Knowles sisters also get into Solange’s undying love for Nas and The Real Housewives Of Atlanta, misconceptions about what it means to be a strong woman, the origin of “Cranes In The Sky,” the backstory of producing the album and its music videos, and more. Read the interview here.