Solange just dropped the excellent A Seat At The Table, which will be sure to grace many a year-end list. It was made over the last four years on-and-off since she released the True EP/mini-album in 2012. It turns out she documented a lot of that work and has gathered the footage for the short behind-the-scenes film A Seat At The Table, Beginning Stages. The film is broken down in three parts, beginning in August 2013 in Long Island before moving to New Orleans and New Iberia, Lousiana. You can hear her develop early versions of “Don’t Touch My Hair,” “Mad,” “Don’t You Wait,” and other album tracks alongside Sampha, Patrick Wimberly (of Chairlift), Sean Nicholas Savage, Adam Bainbridge (Kindness), Kwes, and others. Those who doubted she wrote her own lyrics or music now have their proof that she does. Check out the short film below along with a statement from Solange.
A Seat At The Table, Beginning Stages is a look at the early days of jam sessions, experimentation, and the exploring of sounds and ideas for the album.
While some of the jam sessions featured did not make the album, they helped to create and identify the sonic tone, and the early lyrics and concepts I wrote for the project.
This video is broken up into 3 different parts. The first and second parts happened in Long Island and New Orleans where I first started to jam and collaborate on ideas with the incredible artists and musicians featured (as well as some other incredible artist and musicians who are not shown here). A lot of these days would just start with me singing a melody or someone playing a synth part or bass line, and would transition into an hour long jam.
The third part is me taking all of these jams to New Iberia, LA with just my engineers and creating the actual song structures, building the sounds, and writing the lyrics and melodies.
I later took these songs to Los Angeles to work with Raphael Saadiq to help amplify the production, as well as record the vocals alongside Troy Johnson. When I look back at the beginning stages, I remember the powerful energy that set the tone, and that I’m so grateful followed us everywhere during the creation of this record.
A Seat At The Table is out now via Saint Records/Columbia. Read our interview with Solange.