Brooklyn’s chromed-out, super deluxe Atlantis Laundromat is flooded in light and whirring with activity. This Monday is more manic then mundane as a crew of PAs transform the sprawling space into a makeshift club in a matter of minutes. Tonight, the hipsters ditched their hampers and hiked to their local Wash & Fold for a night of good, clean fun. There may not be any suds or spin cycles, but there will be plenty of spinning. DJ Justin Straus is drowning the impromptu club in bouncy beats, a party-esque prequel to THE FADER and vitaminmater’s ‘Uncapped’ summer concert series. So far, there’s nothing dry about the evening.
DJ, singer, songwriter, supermom, and reigning ‘Bush-burg’ cool chick Solange, is launching the six-week-long series by performing a medley of ethereal EP tracks from her most recent project “True” along with a couple charismatic covers of Dirty Projectors’ “Stillness Is The Move” and Nivea’s “Laundromat.” As usual, she’s flawless, rocking her signature chunky ‘fro, cookies-n-cream colored short set, and teal-tinted lids.
After a spirited set and equally enthusiastic ovation, the crowd is hushed, gobbling up Solo’s candid banter between songs like breadcrumbs. Solo-love is a unique type of awe and appreciation, not a stadium-sized, overly frenzied fandom—Solange is far too approachable for that sort of mayhem. Besides, half of her attentive audience is too busy fantasizing about bikeriding with their impossibly cool, Splenda-sweet neighbor to clamor for autographs.
The 27-year-old style star, who regretfully canceled her European tour to devote more time to her family, sat down with VIBE Vixen to spill the beans on recording her fourth studio album, her impending BK exodus, and her 8-year-old son’s newfound love of dubstep.
Click through for the exclusive interview and performance highlights.
So, you just announced you’re plan on leaving Brooklyn and moving to New Orleans…
Solange: I know, I was like, ‘Why did I say that? This is going to be such a thing.’
When did you make the decision?
It’s not this big statement-making decision. I’m going to be here half of the time. It’s just been an evolved idea that is actually happening now and it’s exciting. I’m still going to have a place here and I feel like—it’s so cliché to say—but I’ve evolved and grown in so many ways being here in Brooklyn. That will never leave. I have so many great friends and family.
What will you miss the most?
I won’t miss it because I’m still going to be here [laughs].
What are you looking forward to most about New Orleans?
I’m excited about having that southern warmth and charm. I sound like Phaedra Parks [laughs], but it’s true; it’s where I’m from so it’s really like a homecoming. New Orleans is a four-hour drive from Houston, if you drive like I drive. Juelz is incredibly excited. A lot of his family is still there and it’s just another stop on the road. I’ve lived in so many places at this point. It’s going to be great and I’m excited about moving on, in the literal sense.
Fashion week’s coming up; are you going to be participating?
I don’t know, every year I’m involved in Fashion Week in some kind of way. Then I’m like, ‘My feet hurt; I’m not doing this next year,’ and then someone’s like ‘The collection’s good for so and so’ and then it turns into five. Last year, I laid pretty low, though.
Are there any young designers on your radar?
Yeah, my friend has a line—William Okpo—that’s incredible. They’ve had shows the last couple of years in some really cool, unconventional places like Alvin Ailey, so I’m excited. I’m weirdly into the presentation more than the shows because that’s usually the week that Juelz starts school. It’s virtually impossible to make a set time, so it’s nice to be able to go and walk around. That’s where a lot of the emerging designers start.
Tell me a little bit about recording in Long Island.
I’ve been there for about a week now. I came here, like, right before the show and I’m going up again tomorrow. We’re in a really cool space, the house of a friend of my manager’s. It’s been like music summer camp.
Has it just been musicians or do you invite your friends?
There are a lot of musicians there that I made friends with throughout the process. Juelz, my boyfriend, and my family are there. It’s so nice to be able to create in that space of relaxation and not having to worry about studio time. I recorded this way my last album and I don’t see myself going back to a conventional studio set up. Studio time is expensive if you’re like me, watching the clock. It’s really nice to roll out of bed and pick up the mic or lay down a melody and take a break, hang out with Juelz and come back.
Is he actually in the room with you during the process?
You talked about your son’s personal musical preferences; but does he have any musical inclination of his own?
He does. He’s been on his rap-cies for the last few years. He started to write raps and they’re actually really good. I’m his mom, so what can I say? But he’s been in this serious dubstep zone that I find really interesting. I don’t know where it came from but he YouTube’s that kind of stuff all day, every day. I had my first annoying mom fan moment.
Yeah, my first. I took him [out] and was like, ‘My son loves you. Can you please…” I was so embarrassed, but he really, really wanted to [speak] with Macklemore. He loves Macklemore.
This is on his own?
All on his own—I’d actually never even heard any of his music at the time. I downloaded it and asked my friend if it was kid-appropriate and he doesn’t say anything too crazy. We both played Roots picnic. It was really kind of lame, but Juelz was so happy.