When Solange dropped her now-Grammy award-winning album, A Seat At The Table, in September 2016, fans were surprised to hear the voice of her father, Mathew Knowles, on an interlude.
Now, the 31-year-old has opened up to Billboard about the experience of reconnecting with her dad for the project and explains how it impacted their father-daughter relationship.
“I understood my father so much more. To sort out my adolescent and young adult years, there was still so much I needed to know because our relationship was not always very good,” she explained. “It’s still very much a work in progress. But I think I have a much clearer idea of the trauma that he experienced and how it felt like it was then generationally passed on to me. Both kind of existing in the white spaces as an ‘only,’ and how much that can really shape and mold your experience of the world, race, and identity.”
Solange also enlisted the help of her mother, Tina Knowles-Lawson, for the album. She shared that the intimate conversation she had with her parents in the making of the project was a “powerful moment.”
“I knew I wanted to interview my parents when the album was done because I knew that if I interviewed them earlier in the process, it would shape and mold the way I personally related to my experience in New Iberia,” the Houston native added. “Obviously, my parents are divorced, and getting the two of them in a room together was a powerful moment in time. They really led the conversation. I felt that because of my yearning to know, they were honest with me.”
Just recently, on the red carpet of the 11th annual ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood event, Knowles-Lawson told Hollywood Today that Solange deceived her into being in the room with her ex-husband but how cathartic the experience was.
“There’s always a certain level of anxiety about reconnecting with somebody after a divorce when you haven’t seen them but I really appreciate her bringing us together because first and foremost, we’re parents and we’re family so that was really good. She tricked us but she got us there. She just told me to come down and do this thing and she didn’t tell me her dad was going to be there which was fine.”