On the latest episode of Hrishikesh Hirway’s podcast, Song Exploder, Solange breaks down “Cranes in the Sky,” from last year’s A Seat At The Table. During the interview, she explains the song’s origins and how it took shape over seven years, culminating in a recording session at a cockroach-infested home in Jamaica. Along with sharing the background behind the track, Solange also shares early vocal recordings and instrumental takes, as well as the single’s roots in Miami.
“Although it’s known to be this super party, fast-paced place, it was really a refuge of peace for me, especially as a writer,” she said, of the city. “It really became my safe creative space.”
The singer also discussed her process and reflected on the record after having had some distance from it.
“A lot of times, if I write a line, I think to myself, ‘Could I have said that better?'” she said. “[…] On this song, when it was all said and done, the answer was really no—that’s how I felt. Looking back at that girl, I feel so, so grateful I’m not at that place. I can still identify with so many of those moments, they’re still a part of me, but I am not them.”
Listen to the full episode, below.