Historically, I would have said that she is my icon, my idol, my goddess if you will, but why resort her as a best friend, a) because entire vibe can be quintessentially wrapped up in one single word, polymath, to which I aspire to one day describe myself, b) because her Instagram literally shakes me to my core and c) her albums have been my vibe since True back in 2012.
I’m sure there are other reasons for constituting her as my unofficial official BFF, but right now I am literally shaking in my boots because just the other day on IG she subtly released a statement via T Magazine on the release of her new album and partially because it is 43 degrees here in Austin, Texas.
Solange provides me, what some would consider soothing melodies to which I feel I can tap into creative potential unlike any other. Her songs are both soft and powerful, the beat of the drum is both steady and allows your body to move, and at the same time, her lyrics provide the kind of emotional depth, truth, and political woke-ness to a somewhat apathetic culture. She describes what it means to be a Black woman colorfully and in detail, illustrating facets to her blackness that someone of another culture can only hear, but allows you to feel the emotion of it through her music. I listen to it often. I listen to it in full, from beginning to end, interludes and all. Occasionally, when I listen to only one song or a few songs from the album, I end up needing to listen to the entire thing because it sets me in a mood immediately.
Her voice provides intimacy and an almost, ”come-listen” type of quality to it that makes you sit up and take note, then immediately feel compelled to lean back comfortably for the next melody. She is an artist, and in a way, allowed me to finally be comfortable calling myself an artist, a word I have always hated.
At one point in my fandom of Solange, I considered chopping my hair off because being Jewish and Italian, the struggle of my hair is that water makes it frizzy and the curls sometimes are completely unmanageable. I have always longed for thin, straight, unassuming hair, and yet, it was a Black woman’s representation of loving her hair and seeing the beauty of her hair, that allowed me, a Jewish/Italian boy to love my own ethnic hair, given to me by my mother.
“Don’t touch my hair / When it’s the feelings I wear / Don’t touch my soul / When there’s a rhythm I know / Don’t touch my crown / They say the vision I’ve found / Don’t touch what’s there / When it’s the feelings I wear.”
Solange has given me permission to appreciate art and beauty and allow myself to venture creatively in whatever aspect feels natural to me. I could go on and on and wax poetic for days on the lyrical genius of her work, or the beauty of her Instagram page, or the fact that my sister and I discuss her dance moves as frequently as we discuss any other topic, but at its core, the reason I feel Solange and I would be BFF’s is because she is constantly in a state of reflection.
In an almost meditative pace, she reflects off of every word she delivers, and it’s this sort of reflection that gives depth and analysis to her work. It’s that type of reflection that I aspire and am constantly inspired to have. To be able to reflect on my life and look inward to further express outward. That is an artist, that is who I want to be, and Solange gives me the courage to do so.
Do you have an artist/musician/actor in your life, like this? Slide into the comments below to discuss the type of people that inspire you to be a more you version of yourself.