Honorary Art Therapist: Solange Knowles

When I first watched the video for “Cranes in the Sky” I immediately found myself crying. I wasn’t particularly sad that day, but there were feelings deep rooted in me that are kind of always there. Feelings of unrest, feelings of incompletion. Feeling a bad feeling but not knowing how to feel about that feeling. Somehow, this song perfectly captured it, and hit me in a way that cleansed my soul of those feelings by forcing me to acknowledge them.

I had always been a long time Solange fan, starting with “I Decided” which is still one of my favorite songs. I remember watching the video air on 106 & Park on BET when I was thirteen years old, and my mother fell in love with the video instantly because of historic black imagery used. I loved the song more as the years went by, because I realized that “I was a little different. I didn’t do what the fast girls do”, and the idea of someone studying me as a person in order to really get close to me and show their love was always something I was interested in.

Then I became a huge fan of “Sleep in the Park” because of the importance of knowing that “we can’t survive on just the love.” It gave a different perspective to love songs that usually is not showcased, which I interpreted to mean that relationship love is not the only form of love, and not the only form of love necessary. Self-love and building oneself is just as important.

I enjoyed “Lovers in the Parking Lot” for its soul sound and smooth vocals that eased me whenever I was anxious or stressed. In fact, it was Solange’s effortless vocals on most of her songs that really drew me to her music. Everything felt simple with Solange; no gimmicks or glam, just her singing about how she felt and expressing her true self.

This all led to one of my favorite albums, A Seat At the Table, which discussed topics of race, anger, fear, and joy in ways that I have never really heard before. It appealed to me strongly as an African American woman, as a long time Solange fan (the proof being the picture I drew of her on Illustrator which is the featured image here), and as a lover of history and art. On this album, Solange perfectly combined the two and tapped into the souls of many looking to express themselves as effortlessly as Solange. This earns her the title of honorary art therapist!

Enjoy listening to one of my favorite Solange songs:

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