It's been less than a week since Solange, with little to no promotion, dropped her third album, A Seat at the Table. And the LP has been met with nothing short of praise, but if you're wondering just how the creation of something so sonically cohesive and statement-making came together, Solo has shared a behind-the-scenes mini-doc detailing her every move.
The footage shows Solange, since 2013, working with a range of producers and engineers from Long Island to New Orleans to New Iberia as she rehearses and experiments with instrumentation, composition and arrangement ("I don't think I've ever had a hard time choosing melodies the way that I am on this song," she can be seen saying), and early versions of "Don't Touch My Hair," "Don't You Wait," "Where Do We Go" and "Mad," along with other tracks that didn't make the #ASATT cut. Sampha makes a cameo ("I like that second-to-last chord," she tells him), as does her son Daniel Julez who does the Robot on the sidelines of the studio and the Macarena with his mama in the kitchen.
About the short film, Solo shared a message via her curated music, culture, and style site Saint Heron:
"A Seat At The Table, Beginning Stages” is a look at the early days of jam sessions, experimentation, and the exploring of sounds and ideas for the album.
While some of the jam sessions featured did not make the album, they helped to create and identify the sonic tone, and the early lyrics and concepts I wrote for the project.
This video is broken up into 3 different parts. The first and second parts happened in Long Island and New Orleans where I first started to jam and collaborate on ideas with the incredible artists and musicians featured (as well as some other incredible artist and musicians who are not shown here). A lot of these days would just start with me singing a melody or someone playing a synth part or bass line, and would transition into an hour long jam.
The third part is me taking all of these jams to New Iberia, LA with just my engineers and creating the actual song structures, building the sounds, and writing the lyrics and melodies.
I later took these songs to Los Angeles to work with Raphael Saadiq to help amplify the production, as well as record the vocals alongside Troy Johnson. When I look back at the beginning stages, I remember the powerful energy that set the tone, and that I’m so grateful followed us everywhere during the creation of this record."