Did you know Solange had a mega crush on the lead singer of Incubus?
In the late '90s, while big sister Beyoncé and her group Destiny's Child were sweeping the charts with hits such as "Bug a Boo" and "Bills, Bills, Bills," Solange, now 30, was a teenager with her own fledgling music career whose musical tastes included rapper Nas and the alternative rock band, led by her crush, Brandon Boyd.
The singer reflects on her past phases in a letter she wrote to her teenage self, published in Teen Vogue Wednesday.
Neilson Barnard/Getty Images
"You will dive head first without looking into phases that you are certain of who you are," she wrote. "Some of these stages include: the dance-is-life (aka 'This leotard is my second skin') phase. The Bible-thumping-church-camp phase (which coincided and contradicted with the Fiona Apple-fan-club-president phase). The Nas-aficionado-brown-lip-liner-and-Vaseline phase. The Rasta-vegan-thrifter-who-is-determined-to-marry-Brandon-Boyd phase. The football-player's-girlfriend-who-wears-braided-blond-highlights-and-swears-by-capri-pants phase."
Solange had revealed her teen crush to Seventeen magazine in 2002, when she was 15. The outlet reported at the time that Beyoncé "had to practically drag Solange away" from Incubus' Boyd at the Billboard Music Awards.
Solange's letter later takes on a somber tone. She reflects on her low moments during her teenage years.
"You shut down. you go into your room, lock the door, put on music, and you do not move for 8 hours straight," she wrote. "It will feel like the heaviest and bleakest darkness you can possibly feel, and when you ask everyone to leave you alone and let you be, what you really want to say is 'I want you here' and 'I need help.'"
"Sometimes it is OK to say just that," she added. "It won't make you less strong or less powerful. no one you love will criticize you or blame you; in fact, they will lift you up."
She also tells her teenage self how to deal with people labeling her.
"Sometimes you push these phases to the max, and when you go out into the world feeling confident in who you are and what you reflect, young folks will call you names and grown folks will call you names," Solange continued in her letter to her teenage self. "It's OK. One day you will name yourself, and that name will belong to you. It will not be the ones they ordained: 'Crazy, ugly, attention-seeking, weirdo.'"
"I really hate to tell you this, but sometimes you will still get called these things as an adult, except you will actually embrace some of them," she wrote. "You will learn that these are just words. Words that only have power if you choose to give them power. Every once in a while they will hurt, but you will choose to turn those words into a symbol of beauty."