The more unconventional and artsy of the Knowles sisters has been putting in some work and now we have her first album in four years. ‘A Seat at the Table‘ was released September 30 and is as much an ode to self love as it is a war cry against segregation and injustice. You can tell it’s the latter from the title Solange gave it and the former from a number of the tracks, including ‘Don’t Touch My Hair’. The song is a celebration of one’s individuality, one’s unique beauty and flaws. It encourages the listener not to judge a person based on their appearance as you don’t know what they’ve been through to get to where they are. “Don’t touch my hair/ When it’s the feelings I wear/ Don’t touch my soul/ When it’s the rhythm I know…They don’t understand/ What it means to me…” Her vocals may feel feather-soft, but you can’t deny the power they belie. Lending her a hand in the hook is British singer Sampha Sisay, simply known as Sampha.
The enigma and poetry in the lyrics of Don’t Touch My Hair’ is mirrored in the perplexing series of images that make up its visual. The first of these is a close-up of Solange swinging her beaded locks about. Next we find her in a permed do leaning on a dude with a permed do. We are then treated to a bird’s eye view of the younger Knowles swinging her thick locks while surrounded by dancers making uncoordinated movements. When the hook kicks in we see her and Sampha getting down decked in all-white.
Don’t Touch My Hair’s visuals were released simultaneously with those for ‘Cranes in the Sky‘, another of the A Seat at the Table cuts. Cop the album and look out for guest appearances by Q-Tip, Lil Wayne, Kelly Rowland and BJ the Chicago Kid. There’s also a team of A-listers behind the scenes including Raphael Saadiq and Roots drummer Questlove.
Miami Based, Internationally Known