In a new interview with New York magazine’s Vulture, Solange Knowles opened up about her soured relationship with her record label, how she came to fund her new EP due later this month, why she ditched LaLa land, and yes, discussing her new niece, Blue Ivy Carter.
On why she left her record label:
She is paying for her own EP. She parted ways with her record company, Interscope, after her last album, 2008’s Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams, sold poorly. But the split was mutual: She felt trapped, particularly when Interscope tried to block her unlicensed cover of a Dirty Projectors song. “I wasn’t actually selling it. I was just putting it out,” she says. “Lil Wayne was on the same [parent] label, rapping over every single person’s songs on all of his mixtapes, and no one ever complained because I’m sure he just put it out and said ‘Fuck you.’ I was saying ‘Fuck you’ so much that they were like, ‘Well, you don’t have to be here.’” Interscope released her from her contract even though she still owed them albums.
On the creation of her new EP:
Thanks to sidelines in D.J.’ing and songwriting (she co-wrote her sister’s 2007 single “Get Me Bodied”), and savings from her teenage gig as a Destiny’s Child backup dancer, she could afford to go it alone. “I made my entire record on my own from top to bottom,” she says. “Everything from studio-equipment rentals to actually creating a studio.”
On how she met her video director boyfriend:
Knowles’s friends provide matchmaking services, too. She started dating music-video director Alan Ferguson, her boyfriend of four years, after R&B singer Janelle Monáe and others talked him up to her. “We had a lot of mutual friends who were all putting little buggies in each other’s ear,” Knowles says. The couple moved with Julez to Brooklyn last year to be closer to their families on the East Coast, particularly Knowles’s sister and niece, Blue Ivy.
On why she left Los Angeles and moved to Brooklyn:
Plus, Knowles didn’t want Julez growing up in Los Angeles, where he’d spent much of his childhood living on Hollywood Boulvard among costumed characters. “He actually told my mom, ‘Spider-Man is our neighbor!’ and I was like, ‘Oh my God, we have to leave.’”
On the relationship with her sister, babysitting her niece, and her son following the family way:
They see each other at least once a week. “Blue comes over, I babysit,” says Solange. “[Beyoncé] takes Julez sometimes for the weekend. [Blue] and Julez are going to grow up more like sister and brother than cousins.” Julez is “showing signs of wanting to be an artist” and seems to have learned something from his uncle—he writes raps. “He loves it. It’s so scary,” says Knowles.