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Why Solange Matters

Why Solange Matters

(Music Matters)

Stephanie Phillips
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A Black feminist punk performer and important new voice recounts the dramatic story of an incandescent musician and artist whose unconventional journey to international success on her own terms was far more important than her family name.

Growing up in the shadow of her superstar sister, Solange Knowles became a pivotal musician in her own right. Defying an industry that attempted to bend her to its rigid image of a Black woman, Solange continually experimented with her sound and embarked on a metamorphosis in her art that continues to this day.

In Why Solange Matters, Stephanie Phillips chronicles the creative journey of an artist who became a beloved voice for the Black Lives Matter generation. A Black feminist punk musician herself, Phillips addresses not only the unpredictable trajectory of Solange Knowles's career but also how she and other Black women see themselves through the musician's repertoire. First, she traces Solange's progress through an inflexible industry, charting the artist's development up to 2016, when the release of her third album, A Seat at the Table, redefined her career. Then, with A Seat at the Table and 2019's When I Get Home, Phillips describes how Solange embraced activism, anger, Black womanhood, and intergenerational trauma to inform her remarkable art. Why Solange Matters not only cements the place of its subject in the pantheon of world-changing twenty-first century musicians, it introduces its writer as an important new voice.


Table of Contents:

  • Preface
  • 1. Solange Takes Her Seat
  • 2. Little Sister
  • 3. The Making of a Solo Star
  • 4. Bite the Hand, It Never Fed You
  • 5. Rooting for Everybody Black
  • 6. Creating Community
  • 7. For Us, By Us
  • 8. When I Get Home
  • Epilogue
  • Acknowledgments
  • Notes


    Stephanie Phillips is a London-based music journalist and musician who writes for The Quietus, She Shreds, Noisey, Bandcamp, and The Wire. She started the Black feminist punk band Big Joanie and played backup for Bikini Kill and Sleater-Kinney. She is also part of the collective behind Decolonise Fest, a festival celebrating punks of color.


    • Publisher: University of Texas Press (April 20, 2021)
    • Language: English
    • Paperback: 248 pages
    • ISBN-10: 1477320083
    • ISBN-13: 9781477320082
    • Item Weight: 8.8 ounces
    • Dimensions: 5 x 0.8 x 6.9 inches
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