The alternative appeal of Solange Knowles

Solange Knowles getty 300x225 The alternative appeal of Solange Knowles


Bootylicious. Overt sex symbol. Mainstream. None of these words have much to do with 26-year-old Solange Knowles and perhaps that’s why we love her. By we, I’m referring to young women who like Solange, appear to have embarked on a personal journey to ‘Mecca’ – in search of what it means to be comfortable in your own skin.

As the younger sister of Beyonce, it was never going up be an easy ride for Solange when she decided she wanted to sing. Let’s face it, Solange’s early music releases, such as Feeling You were okay.

Cute, in an ‘Aww… look at Beyonce’s little sister’ kind of way. But it was all too easy to draw comparisons between the two musicians. Despite record labels trying to give her a different angle, she always did fall into that trap of being stuck in her big sister’s shadow. Which is quite possibly the inspiration behind Solange’s track F**k The Industry [Signed Sincerely]. Ouch.

After a break away from the media spotlight, Queen Bey’s little sister has grown. Married with child, divorced. Instead of racking up number ones in the charts, the Texan-turned-Brooklynite has had time to experience life. And enough time to experiment with her personal style of sound and look: growing out her relaxer, ditching the flowing weaves to re-emerge with a look that couldn’t be further removed from Beyonce’s.

From shaved hair to rebellious ‘fro and bold, bohemian braids, Solange has experimented with her hair as often as her take on fashion, setting trends along the way. Instead of choosing high maintenance styles, she emulates a vibe that’s laid back, thrown together and Alexa Chung chic – all while celebrating African heritage. Quite frankly, Solange Knowles is a modern Afro-bearing style icon who is making a statement but in a very understated way.

On Tuesday, Solange released the video for her new single Losing You, her first solo music release since 2010. Here, we see a very comfortable Solange roaming the streets of South Africa, dressed in the highest of fashions: this season’s must-have tailored suits emblazoned with vivid colour. Funnily enough, just like those aforementioned words, the lyrics of the song don’t have much to do with the video direction. But in an awkwardly stylish way it seems Solange truly is happy in her own skin. In fact the only element of her that isn’t relaxed is quite possibly her hair.

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  • Pelumi Fadairo

    This is awful, the video is quirky at the best and the song is bland

  • zonomakka

    The word you were looking for is ‘authentic’.

  • Dayvan Cowboy

    Her cover of Boards Of Canada’s “Left Side Drive” – is a thing to behold.

  • J Stapleton

    It jars like Jamie Oliver, feels like too much effort is being put in. Give this one a few years and it’ll be ‘Beyonce who?’.

  • T.A.H.

    This is great. I didn’t expect much, to be honest. Usually, the younger siblings of stars don’t do much that is interesting. But this video and song are quirky, off-beat (at moments, literally and deliberately, which works for me). I like the setting and the peek we get at the township fashionista subculture, and I didn’t see ‘the little sister of’ but just a good muscian doing a good song.

  • Rory McDonald

    “Rebellious afro”?! You might as well have said “uppity”

  • big m

    Good luck o her, must be awful being Beyonce’s littile sis? Record is sh1te though

  • Clare Elizabeth Freeman

    = a thinly veiled treatise on the sectarian demands of what this author clearly believes Ms. Knowles should do with her hair..
    don’t even get me started on the gruesomely patronising and unlikely video:sure, Ms. Knowles, women are always prancing about in their knickerbockers in a deeply religious continent and they are just forever throwing frat-style American pool parties!

    although thanks for the hilarious & laughably bad dancing!..

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