Solange is absolutely stunning on the cover of Elle US, photographed by Terry Tsiolis, styled by Samira Nasr in high fashion looks from the likes of Céline, Pleats Please, Issey Miyake and Laurence Dacade.

Solange speaks to Salamishah Tillet about what went into the making of this ground-breaking album and what went into the making of this extraordinary musician.

On growing up in a house with two of the three Destiny’s Child members:

“My sister and Kelly [Rowland] were the same age, which is like a built-in best friend in the house; they were extremely close,” Solange recalls. “Writing felt like this insular thing that I could go back in my room and express all that I would observe, all the emotions that would arise. It felt like mine, my little thing.”

On raising her son in Moscow, Idaho, while still in her teens:

“It was one of the most bittersweet moments of my life,” Solange says, “because I was so in love with Julez, and having spent a lot of time on the road, I yearned to be in one place, to have the opportunity to really ground myself with him. But it was isolating and lonely, and so cold and dark. And it was just Julez and me most of the time. It was hard to imagine being able to progress in my career in any way.”

On her album, Seat at the Table:

“I did want to create this juxtaposition, politically, of having these very hard, messy conversations but having them stylistically in a way that you can really hear me, and not the yelling, the rage,” she ruminates. “I wanted to project in my delivery what I was not achieving at all: peace and having a certain lightness and airiness that could maybe help me get closer to having more light and airiness in my life.”

ELLE‘s March issue is on newsstands everywhere February 21.

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