The video for Solange’s new single ‘Cranes in The Sky’ was directed by Solange and her husband Alan Ferguson, with the aid of photographer Carlota Guerrero whose style permeates a wavy film inspiration this film student needed, and found while watching.
Solange basically honed in on everything that matters to her demographic with this release. In one fell swoop she’s showcased elements of the regalness and finesses the women in her community function with. Black women. Using subtle visual metaphors, she represents friendship, camaraderie, motherhood, social consciousness and a pride for women to embody all elements of themselves while standing strong in the public sphere.
It is an album that drips a rich, concentrated good-juice by gently letting itself into the minds of the socially-conscious. It has a focus on nature and raw beauty – a nakedness that lets the album settle itself into the hearts of those craving political change and exploration into what it means to be a woman today as well as the uncertainties that come along with that.
The unapologetic presence of her work ethic is inspiring as shown in the making-of teaser below. I like that she is a solid, tall-vessel of a woman. Comfortable, confident and matter-of-fact in her approach to her work.
I’d imagine this is the craft of being a pop star – balancing who you understand as ‘yourself’ with what the industry expects of you. She delivers the single Cranes In the Sky with a necessary confidence that sets an example to other women of colour – it’s like she humbly knows it’s good, all of it, and that there’s nothing wrong with that approach.
The two release videos for her album A Seat At The Table: Don’t Touch My Hair and Cranes In The Sky are such a pleasure and inspiration to behold because both showcase a bold ownership of space. Watch her embody a freedom dance with producer, Sampha HERE.
There’s an organic, non-constructed beauty to this project, contrasted with a pastel pallet set against deep, royal reds. It’s mixed with the affirmation that there is strength in showing vulnerability. I like the bold femininity and the sensitive subjects addressed with no sorry or fucks given about how a hater might feel about it.
For girls feeling a little unsure of what you have to offer the world, give this album a spin, preferably on vinyl then see how you feel.
A Seat At The Table features the track ‘F.U.B.U’ (For Us By Us). It pays tribute to the classic smokers film How High – she knows what she’s doing when she sweetly coos, “All my niggas in the whole wide world, play this song and sing it on your terms, for us, this shit is for us”… I love this side of Solange, she’s real and the industry needs more like her – although Beyonce’s sister is definitely a beast that couldn’t be replicated.
Master P narrates the album with no prompts regarding his own public status, it’s like he and Solange are simply homies who have a common understanding – like when he addresses how black people don’t get rehab… “We have to rehab ourselves”, he says.
The production features credits from Sampha, Raphael Sadiq and others. The making-of video shows her freestyling and building her songs over a span of three years. In another interview she said she wanted to make an ode to Mary-Jane with a feminine touch.
A Seat At The Table nicely promises a budding future for creative females still slugging away in a predominantly male saturated arena.
Solange has said the album is a “confessional autobiography and meditation on being black in America” and that “she doesn’t believe that protest is just marching in the street but that protest can be creation.”
This is an album for those who can sense a bubbling for positive change happening beyond newsfeeds worldwide. It is a gem that can be found in ear buds all over the world.
It is proof that people of colour are talking and getting together to inspire and create. It is proof that people of colour are over it – the white washing of everything.
Artists, musicians, clothing designers, web designers and more and more are crying out for progressed inclusiveness, less bigotry in the world and workplace, runways and fashion houses.
This album is for people looking and working forward to a time when mainstream audiences can experience real culture without it being ‘niche’ first. Everyone is doing their part and this album has hit one out of the park on the side of beauty and social justice.
This is an album for those who know that if these kinds of projects dripping in beauty and black and coloured creativeness continue to be ignored — then there may just be a war instead of a revolution.