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And in many ways, it makes perfect sense that Solange would end up in Brooklyn, rather than in the Manhattan environs where she might otherwise have been expected to dwell. Brooklyn suits the style—both musical and sartorial—that Solange has revealed over the many years she has spent in the public eye. Having now lived and worked in the entertainment industry for more than half her life, Solange was just 13-years-old when she started as a backup dancer on tour with her sister’s group, Destiny’s Child. Solange recounts that, rather than riding with her sister and the other members of Destiny’s Child, she had to ride in the backup dancers’ bus, where her young age—and the fact that she was still wearing braces—separated her from every crazy thing that goes on during a typical megatour. Her career wasn’t the only thing she started at a young age; Solange married and had her son when she was 18, first living in Idaho, where, she says, she had a formative parenting experience that “was very, very vital for the foundation” in her relationship with her son. And while the foundation of her relationship with her son was strong, Solange’s marriage ended when she was just 21, leading her to leave Idaho and begin the balancing act of single, working motherhood.
Which, Solange is quick to point out, “Is definitely a balancing act, and it is not at all easy. I do the best I can, which involves a lot of saying no to things, actually, and a lot of really organized scheduling and a lot of help, to be honest. That was one of our major incentives to moving here. We were living in LA and I was writing and recording this album literally between the hours of 9am and 3pm every day because that was the time that Julez was in school. We were completely isolated, we didn’t have any family or long-term friends there, and we didn’t have that support system built in there that we have in New York.” This clear-sighted appraisal of the choices that parents have to make in order to create an easier life for themselves and their children is so pragmatic and honest that it's easy to understand why everyone I’ve talked to about Solange, from the friends who accompanied her to this photo shoot to—very briefly—Jorma Taccone of Lonely Island, has the same glowing things to say about her. Solange is cool... Solange is so chill... Solange is the easiest person to talk to... Solange is basically the greatest. And, well, after spending some time with her, it’s hard not to agree—Solange is the kind of person who opens up easily, in a way that makes anyone who spends an hour with her feel like they’ve been her girlfriend for ages, or at least wish that they had.