Solange is currently on tour in Europe with her band (Dev Hynes on guitar, Charlift’s Patrick Wimberly on drums) and son/junior roadie Julez in tow. We’re tagging along, documenting the action backstage and after the shows. Above, check out photos taken by FADER photographer Jackie Dewe Mathews at London’s XOYO, along with dinner candids featuring The xx and captioned by Solange herself. In between gigs, Solange hopped on email for a quick chat about meeting Dev Hynes’ family, British R&B and what she’s been wearing onstage. Read that below and check back her for more behind the scenes photos, presented by PUMA.
What’s the best part about playing in Europe? This is my first time playing Europe in almost four years. I was super psyched to get back over and sing the new songs. The best part about playing in Europe is getting to see people I saw at my very first gig touring my first record, Solo Star, still rocking with me now. There’s a guy named Richard Porter, who’s been at every single one of my UK gigs. Seeing that kind of connection to your music is a beautiful reward.
How is playing there different than playing at home in New York? There’s a part of the show where I really vibe out. I always encourage folks to light up during that part. In New York i couldn’t keep count of clouds, in London I only saw one.
Dev from Blood Orange is British and he’s in your touring band—has he played tour guide at all? I’ve spent a great deal of time in London, and have a ton of friends there so I’m pretty well knowledgable in my London spots. But I was super psyched that I finally got to meet his parents and sister! We’ve spent so much time together the last few years and he’s become like family, so it was so awesome to finally meet his. That was a highlight for the both of us.
Who are the British R&B acts you identify with or admire? To be honest, I could learn a lot more about British R&B nowadays. When I was growing up in high school I spent a great deal of time in the UK touring as a dancer with Destiny’s Child, so I was very in tune with the British R&B scene. Cleopatra, Sugababes, I knew it all. I still think Craig David’s first record Born To Do It, is one of my fave R&B records. I used to bang that shit daily. Right now I’ve just been put on to a bunch of sick British Afrobeat records, so I’m really vibing out with that.
How do you choose your stage outfits? Is it different in Europe than in the US? Right now to keep it simple, I have two outfits and I just switch them out every other night. I wore the same two in New York and my band has two as well, so it works out. But right now I’m in Paris and my son and I are staying with my good friend Humberto, who is the designer for Kenzo and Opening Ceremony. I’m gonna raid his showroom and ask him to dress me tonight. That’s what friends (who are awesome designers) are for!