Why Solange Matters
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The dramatic story of Solange: a musician and artist whose unconventional journey to international success was far more important than her family name.
‘Why Solange Matters is a significant and sober treatise on popular music . . . This book is more than necessary.’
‘The author’s prose sparkles . . . This is a book about what freedom could look like for Black women.’
CALEB AZUMAH NELSON, OBSERVER
‘A love letter to quirkly black creatives . . . [Phillips’] vibrant writing reminds us how Solange lit “the flame of creativity” within many Black women.’
Growing up in the shadow of her superstar sister, Beyoncé, and defying an industry that attempted to bend her to its rigid image of a Black woman, Solange Knowles has become a pivotal musician and artist in her own right.
In Why Solange Matters, Stephanie Phillips chronicles the creative journey of Solange, a beloved voice of the Black Lives Matter generation. A Black feminist punk musician herself, Phillips addresses not only the unpredictable trajectory of Solange’s career but also how she and other Black women see themselves through the musician’s repertoire. First, she traces Solange’s progress through an inflexible industry, charting the artist’s development up to 2016, when the release of her third album, A Seat at the Table, redefined her career. With this record and, then, When I Get Home (2019), Phillips describes how Solange has embraced activism, anger, Black womanhood and intergenerational trauma to inform her remarkable art.
Why Solange Matters not only cements the subject in the pantheon of world-changing twenty-first-century musicians, it introduces its writer as an important new voice.
‘A rich portrait of Black artistry.’
‘Phillips writes with clarity about why Solange’s work matters, exploring issues of cultural appropriation and black feminism along the way.’
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