"I gotta do my own thing," sings fifteen-year-old Solange Knowles on the title track of her debut album, Solo Star, due in stores October 22nd. (The track also appeared on last year's Osmosis Jones soundtrack.) Solange, the younger sister of Destiny's Child's Beyonce Knowles, wrote most of the songs and also co-produced three tracks for her upcoming album.
"The name of my album is called Solo Star, so I didn't think it would be appropriate to have a million dozen people on there," she explains.
But she was happy to make a couple of exceptions for boy band B2K, who sing on the track "Dance With You," and, of course, for sister Beyonce. "I was definitely excited about getting to write with her," says Solange, who has previously sung with Beyonce on "Hey, Goldmember" from the Austin Powers in Goldmember soundtrack and the theme to the Disney Channel TV show The Proud Family. "I just thought that if she wrote too much then maybe people would compare us. But definitely someone who has written seven Number One singles is going to have a couple of songs on my album."
As for her own songs, Solange says they are "half about boys and half about life. . . . I just like to call it music that makes you feel good. I definitely have R&B songs. I definitely have pop songs. Actually, I don't have that many pop songs, but I definitely have alternative. I have rock. I have songs that have Latin guitars in them and hip-hop beats, and I have a reggae song."
In keeping with her rock enthusiasm, Solange is learning to play drums. "My whole philosophy is to be different, and there are no girls out there -- especially young girls -- playing drums." She also wants to tackle the violin.
Destiny's Child fans are already familiar with Solange, as she danced with the girls for a year and a half -- at one point filling in for the injured Kelly Rowland -- and served as emcee for their last tour. "I just got the audience to sing the 'Bootylicious' song with me," Solange says. "The girls, especially Beyonce, have taught me so much about writing, so much about imaging, so much about this business, so much just about my career. They've opened so many doors for me, and I just really appreciate them teaching me."