It’s been a year since the critically acclaimed album was released
In a session hosted by BBC Radio 1Xtra, the radio station celebrated the one-year anniversary of Solange’s brilliant 2016 album A Seat At The Table. The album was played in its entirety, alongside messages from artists and collaborators such as Kelela and Moses Sumney.
Kelela, who collaborated with Solange on the track Scales said, “When I think about Solange’s record, A Seat At The Table, I am sort of brought back to the first time she played me the songs. I was in full tears. I am in full tears right now. I remember feeling a sense of freedom, just feeling better, like we finally had anthems that come from a tender place.”
She continued, “I think that’s something that black women bring to the table quite specifically and that people don’t respect so much. Tenderness is not so trendy or cool; you don’t get a lot of props for being tender, but it’s one of the most courageous things and I think it’s had the greatest impact in a few years, I would say. I can’t think of anything that’s made me and my peers feel better quite instantly.”
Los Angeles-based artist Moses Sumney, who contributed vocals to the track Mad added the message, “It was a pretty fun experience going in and singing on it. I just went in and she played it to me and told me she was interested in creating a choir, almost like a wall of sound. It was just like a beautiful gospel choir and so I sing these harmonies that she had written. Like a bit of falsetto, a bit of a bunch of things, and chest voice. It was really fun.”
He went on to say, “I had known her for about two years before I went in to sing on the record. We met via this little thing called Instagram, but it was the first time being in the studio with her. The significance of the album, to me, was the necessity of a black woman having a voice and exercising and emphasising her perspective. I really appreciated that she wanted to talk about her experiences but also extend them to the broader public, or to people who look like her and could relate to that.”
“So it was an honour to sing on the tune because I could feel the gravity of the meaning of the record to her, but also the music aesthetically was harkening to something meaningful and spiritual.”
Kelela recently dropped her track Waitin and her forthcoming album Take Me Apart is due out on 6 October via Warp Records. In September, Sumney released his debut Aromanticism.
Listen to the episode here. Kelela’s message begins at around the 1.56.08 mark, and Sumney’s at 1.17.37.