Solange Piaget Knowles

Summary and Abstract

Solange Piaget Knowles is a singer, songwriter, model, actress, dancer, producer, business woman and philathropist who has been revealing and proving her place in the world since an early age. Solange began her professional career as a backup dancer for her older sisters group, Destiny’s Child then went on to establish herself as an artist. During her career, Solange has released a total of four studio albums to date along with several mixtapes, singles, and EP’s making appearances on the most socially influenced music charts of not only the United States but the United Kingdom. Receiving a grammy for best R & B Performance, A Soul Train Music Award  for Cranes in the Sky, A Webby Award and an Edison-Jazz Award, Solange has proved herself to be a creative, soulful, revolutionary, hit maker in today’s music industry.

Methodology

In order to effectively convey the true artistry Solange Piaget Knowles emanates, I conducted scholarly research on her musical career. Her laid back vibe, promotion of self care, and her pride in  being black has inspired many around the world. I learned a lot more about not only her as an artist but also as a person while conducting this reasearch. 

Early Life

Born to creole descendant Tina, and African American descendant Matthew Knowles, in Houston Texas June 24th, 1986, Solange Piaget Knowles was destined to become a musical and lyrical genius. Her father Matthew owned the music label Music World Entertainment so young Solange grew in an environment that not only developed her love for music but also gave her the outlet to express herself accordingly.  

Growing up Solange was shy and introverted while living in a bit of a shadow as her sister Beyonce gained notoriety. The two even went to therapy as children because their mother wanted this fact not to be an issue as they grew. Tina Knowles states in a facebook discussion with Maria Shriver “I had days that I devoted to each of them. On Wednesdays, I took off of work and that was Solange’s day.” Tina claims that doing this built Solange’s confidence over the years and taught her to be sure of herself.  

 Solange’s first time performing was at the age of five at a family amusement park, then at the age of 9 she was writing her own songs. At the age of thirteen Solange came to her father with hopes of him making her a star but he believed she was not ready and suggested that she start smaller. She then became a backup dancer for the group Destiny’s Child which her older sister was a part of.

Philanthropy

Solange is not only a musical genius, she is also a philanthropist. In 2005 along with her family and the Rowland Family, The Survivor Foundation was established with the mission to provide relief to those affected by Hurricane Katrina that evacuated to Texas by providing housing and transportation. She also teamed up with her older sister to support Miss A Meal. Miss  Meal’s mission is to fight hunger by missing a meal and donating the funds that would have been used. 

Rising Star

Solange‘s vocals first appeared professionally on Destiny Child’s 8 Days of Christmas album on the song “Little Drummer Boy“, then in 2002 where she featured on Lil Romeo’s “Game Time“. In 2003 the young star released her debut album Solo Star which received mixed reviews. Critics proclaimed that Solange‘s vocals were underdeveloped and her identity was not yet established. Slant Magazine writer Sal Cinquemani claims “The largely synthetic-sounding Solo Star follows the growing industry standard in which the focus is on production rather than songwriting.” Many referred to Solange as a mini Beyonce, claiming that the two shared many similarities when it came to stylistics of their singing. Despite this, the album reached #49 on Billboard 200, #23 on Top R & B and hip hop, and housed the single “Feeling You” which reached #73 on billboard and #5 on Hot R & B and Hip Hop. Solange continued to focus on her music career and develop as an artist despite 

In 2008 after divorcing Daniel Smith Solange released her second album Sol-Angel and the Hadley St Dreams. This album reached #9 on Billboard 200 and sold almost fifty thousand in the first week. The album received relatively positive reviews from critics. The piece housed four singles and two EP’s of remixes from the album. 

The first single I Decided was released in  April of 2008 and reached #44 on Billboard Hot R & B/ Hip Hop songs and #1 on the hot dance singles and Hot R & B/ Hip Hop singles. Throughout the year, she later went on to release ChampaangeChroniKnightCap featuring Louisiana native rapper Lil Wayne,  and continued with  Sandcastle Disco which reached #1 on Billboard Hot Dance Club Play. The following year Solange went on to release the single T.O.N.Y,  then in 2010 Wanna Go Back.

In 2016 Solange released her third studio Album, A Seat at the Table which to this day is proven to be her most successful work. During this time Solange also released an EP and established her label Saint Records. In 2019 she released her fourth studio album When I Get Home.

Although music was her main focus, in addition to her contribution to the music industry, Solange also branched out into film and television.  She made appearances in shows like One on One, and she voiced the character Chanel on The Proud Family. Additionally she was the lead vocalist on the shows theme song featuring Destiny’s Child. 

 Solange played a major role in the film Johnson Family Vacation, a sassy cheerleading captain in Bring It On: All or Nothing, and made an apperance on a childrens tv show called Yo Gabba Gabba.   

I Saved You a Seat

September 2016 Solange released her third album titled A Seat at the Table. The twenty- one track album is described as ” an autobiography of being black in America” by Apple Music. With songs like Weary and Interlude: This Moment, which express how black and brown people are jaded with the way the world operates, F.U.B.U and Don’t Touch My Hair exuding black pride,  Where Do We Go and Mad expressing feelings of displacement/rage,  and hidden messages promoting self care with  Pedestals and Cranes in the Sky, the artist further solidified her place in the music industry.

A Seat at the Table exhibits Solange’s ability to take everyday experiences and turn them into enchanted lyrics and melodies. In an interview with Fader Solange expresses how the album was not written with the intent to exude positive vibes and feels of resilience. “I feel like, in some ways the album wrote itself. When I first started to write a lot of new songs, it was just me and piano. And [the songs] didn’t have life; they were just the beginning stages. Throughout the different eras of the album, I found my voice and it became clearer and clearer through the backdrop of what was happening in the world and everyday life. Lyrically, everything that came to me on this record was directly influenced by my personal journey, but also the journey of so many people around me. That’s why I feel like it wrote itself.” Solange states.

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