Interview Magazine enlisted Beyoncé to her sister Solange, who graces the cover of their new issue, to interview her in a a phone chat.
Bey, who refers to herself as Solange's "biggest fan," goes right in to grill her sib about the process making of her masterpiece A Seat at the Table, her since the release of it, and about growing up together.
Bey illustrates Solange as a kid:
You were obsessed with Alanis Morissette and Minnie Riperton and mixing prints with your clothes ... when you were only 10 years old. You would lock yourself in a room with your drum set and a record player and write songs.
Solange on the origins of her musical love affair:
I remember having so much perspective about my voice, and how to use my voice, at such a young age—whether it was through dance, poetry, or coming up with different projects. I guess I always felt a yearning to communicate—I had a lot of things to say. And I appreciated y'all's patience in the house during all of these different phases. They were not ever very introverted, quiet phases.
Solange on the origins of her keen sense of self:
I remember being really young and having this voice inside that told me to trust my gut. And my gut has been really, really strong in my life. It's pretty vocal and it leads me. Sometimes I haven't listened, and those times didn't end up very well for me. I think all of our family—you and mom—we're all very intuitive people. A lot of that comes through our mother, her always following her gut, and I think that spoke to me really loudly at a young age and encouraged me to do the same.
Solange on Table's deeply personal themes and content:
There were things that had been weighing heavy on me for quite some time. And I went into this hole, trying to work through some of these things so that I could be a better me and be a better mom to Julez and be a better wife and a better friend and a better sister. Which is a huge part of why I wanted you to interview me for this piece. Because the album really feels like storytelling for us all and our family and our lineage. And having mom and dad speak on the album, it felt right that, as a family, this closed the chapter of our stories.
On Master P:
SOLANGE: I find a lot of similarities in Master P and our dad.
BEYONCÉ: Me, too. [laughs]
On the significance of the album, especially for black women:
SOLANGE: This was going to be such an intimate, up-close, staring-you-right-in-the-face experience, the way people would see me and hear me. It was one thing to make the record and have those reservations; it was another to finish it and actually share it. I just feel so much joy and gratitude that people have connected to it in this way. The biggest reward that I could ever get is seeing women, especially black women, talk about what this album has done, the solace it has given them.
BEYONCÉ: All right, girl! [both laugh]
Solange on the impact of her and Bey's childhood neighborhood of Parkwood, in Houston, Texas:
We grew up in the same neighborhood that produced Scarface, Debbie Allen, and Phylicia Rashad. So, culturally, it was as rich as it gets. People were warm. People were friendly. But the biggest thing that I took from it is the storytelling. I feel like, in the South in general, but specifically in our world growing up, people were expressive and vivid storytellers. In the hair salon or in the line at the grocery store; there was never a dull moment. I feel so happy that I got to grow up in a place where you could be the pastor's wife, you could be a lawyer, you could be a stripper on the side, you could be a schoolteacher—we saw every kind of woman connect on one common experience, which was that everyone wanted to be great and everyone wanted to do better. And we really became womanist because of that. And that's the thing that I carry with me the most, being able to go out into the world and connect with women of all kinds. I was just having a conversation with someone about The Real Housewives of Atlanta, and I was saying how I love that show and think it's so brilliant because it's the woman that was represented in my childhood in Houston. It makes me feel so at home.
Bey asks how she was as a sister growing up:
BEYONCÉ: And, honestly, growing up, how did I do as a big sister?
SOLANGE: You did a kickass job. You were the most patient, loving, wonderful sister ever. In the 30 years that we've been together, I think we've only really, like, butted heads ... we can count on one hand.