“Some Things Never Seem to F***ing Work” is the name of just one of the seven funky-fresh tracks that R&B artist Solange Knowles released last November on her EP True. While she couldn’t be more right (just think about that relationship you gave three-four-five tries to before you wised up), Solange herself is definitely not one of those things. With an impeccable taste in fashion and a halo of curls that angels would kill for, she’s pushing all the right buttons here at LC. And she “works” in the more conventional sense of the word, too. A single mother to a nine-year-old boy (a full-time job if ever there was one), Ms. Knowles also recently conceptualized and launched her own record label Saint Records on top of accepting a brand-new gig as Puma’s art director and creative consultant. We’ve got three words for you, Solo: Get. It. Girl.
One of the main reasons for our infatuation with Solange is, as we’ve mentioned before, her unique style. In a sea of sequins and body-con dresses, Solange is an island of old-school individuality. Citing Erykah Badu, Björk, Diana Ross, and her own ’70s-era mother as sartorial influences, Solange’s penchant for bold prints, expressive color palettes and classic silhouettes definitely hearken to a bygone age while still managing to be on the cutting-edge of taste. Although she often chooses pieces that don’t traditionally scream “sexy” — like dress pants, blazers, and blouses with sewn-in shoulder pads – no one can deny that Solange unequivocally exudes sex appeal, which is a testament to the fact that it’s less about the clothes you wear and the body parts you show and more about an innate confidence that can make any outfit absolutely appealing.
The realm of fashion isn’t the only place where Solange works her magic on us. Involved in the recording industry for more than a decade, she’s seen a whole lot, not only through her own experiences but through the lens of those of her sister Beyoncé Knowles. Her Motown-esque sophomore album, Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams, gives listeners a taste of a budding complex musical style in line with her own vision. It’s not until True, however, with its deep lyrical content and simple but captivating melodies, that listeners witness the culmination of Solange’s evolution into a mature artist with a unique musical persona. It’s this commitment to authenticity — to telling her story in her own way — that allows Solange to keep her finger on the pulse of what’s innovative and fresh. The overall feeling is one of startling sincerity — listeners recognize that what they’re hearing is Solange, pure and in essence.
Saint Records’ Nov. 12th release of Saint Heron, a compilation album featuring tracks from eleven of R&B’s new avant-garde, suggests that Solange is beginning to concern herself with providing a forum of expression for other unique artists free from commercial influence. With the vast amount of creative talent and artistic vision she possesses, it wouldn’t be surprising if Solange turns out to be one of the major players in the R&B and fashion games. Whatever her next step is, we here at LC are sure of two things: she’s going to stay true to herself, and she’s going to look damn good doing it.
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