Solange Admits It Was A “Nightmare” Growing Up In Beyonce’s Shadow
For years, it was easy for Solange Knowles to fade into the background.
Dissed, dismissed, and nicknamed only “Beyonce‘s little sister” by the public and in the press, Solange struggled to find her path and make a name for herself during her teenage years, which became increasingly difficult as school became a “bit of a nightmare.” She reveals her struggles in the enlightening cover story written for the Spring Style issue of Fader.
“I was having a tough time,” she says. “Either kids [were] being like super rude, like, ‘You think you’re all that,’ or being like, ‘Can I get tickets?’”
But, Solange is no shrinking violet and, after years in the shadows, the successful singer, model, and DJ is finally staking her claim on the spotlight. In the article penned by former Fader Deputy Editor Amber Bravo, Solange opens up about fighting her way to the top on her own terms. When she was just 16, Solange released her debut album, Solo Star, and embarked on tour with Justin Timberlake.
“I was opening up for Justin, which was a huge opportunity for me, and I was just like, I want to be at home with my boyfriend!” she says. “I was only on my third show, and I kept getting strep throat. I was so relieved that the doctor came and he was like, ‘You can’t sing.’ I was like, ‘Fuck yes.’ A lot of me wanting to get married so young and have a kid and move to Idaho and the country had to do with me, [from age] 13 to 17, being on the road and having to work so much. It wasn’t really until after [my son] Julez was born [in 2004], that I started writing again. But I was writing these ’60s soul and pop records and no one was picking them up. That’s kind of what transitioned me into doing [the Sol-Angel] record, because I just kept writing them and nothing was happening, and I was like, ‘Well, I guess I can give it another go.’”
The result was her 2008 album, Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams, and her latest EP, 2012′s True, which Solange admits are two drastically different musical offerings. “[In] four years, there’s been so much artistic growth, so much growth just as a woman in [my] 20s, but especially as an artist,” she says. “You’re exposed to so much more from age 21 to 26, and you sure as hell care a lot less. It’s been a little weird, for me, getting feedback—the last album was so different than this one. I am like, ‘Yeah, I was 20 when I started writing it.’ Is that supposed to be shocking? If it sounded similar, that would be really strange.”