We open in Long Island, back in 2013. And what we see is pure, raw, genius. Solange in a living room—  not dressed up, not made up— just singing her effing heart out. There’s a delicate, pure, but powerful sound. In this video, ‘Beginning Stages’, you can get a look behind the making of her latest album, A Seat At The Table. If you haven’t listened yet, it’s a masterpiece.

A Seat At The Table, Beginning Stages is a look at the early days of Solange’s songwriting, jam sessions, experimentation, collaboration, and the exploring of sounds and ideas for the album,” the description explains. “While some of the jam sessions featured did not make the album, they helped to create and identify the sonic tone, and the early lyrics and concepts Solange wrote for the project. Filmed between Long Island, New Orleans, and New Iberia…take a peek of the journey… ”

And seeing the journey from the inside is incredible. Solange, curled up on a coach, singing unconsciously into a microphone. It’s not about slick studios and polished makeup, it’s about the music. And the music stands for itself.

Even when they’re in the studio, the video is honest and unfiltered. A lot of behind the scenes shoots look like a music video— choreographed, too finished, too fake. But this is just an artist making art. What a joy to behold.

If you want to see A Seat At The Table in its embryonic form, take a look at this:

She’s a joy. Watching her tap through, write through, and talk through her music is such an insight into a warm, open, and talented performer. Seeing where the killer singles like ‘Don’t Touch My Hair’, ‘Cranes In The Sky’, and ‘Losing You’ came from is such a privilege. And it’s heartening to see such a monumentally gifted woman be so down to earth and real. Solange is a damn queen.