For the September 2018 issue of Vogue, Beyoncé was given complete editorial control. In turn, she tapped Tyler Mitchell, a 23-year-old photographer from Atlanta, to become the first person of color to shoot a Vogue cover. Additionally, she sat down for a rare interview with Clover Hope and discussed motherhood, her recent Coachella performance, her ongoing OTR II tour with JAY-Z, and more.
Beyoncé said she got the idea for Coachella performance after humming the black national anthem to her daughter, Rumi, while putting her to sleep.
“In the show at the time I was working on a version of the anthem with these dark minor chords and stomps and belts and screams. After a few days of humming the anthem, I realized I had the melody wrong. I was singing the wrong anthem,” Beyoncé explained. “One of the most rewarding parts of the show was making that change. I swear I felt pure joy shining down on us. I know that most of the young people on the stage and in the audience did not know the history of the black national anthem before Coachella. But they understood the feeling it gave them.”
“It was a celebration of all the people who sacrificed more than we could ever imagine, who moved the world forward so that it could welcome a woman of color to headline such a festival,” she added.
Of her ongoing OTR II tour with husband JAY-Z, Beyoncé said “one of the most memorable moments… was the Berlin show at Olympiastadion, the site of the 1936 Olympics. This is a site that was used to promote the rhetoric of hate, racism, and divisiveness, and it is the place where Jesse Owens won four gold medals, destroying the myth of white supremacy. Less than 90 years later, two black people performed there to a packed, sold-out stadium. When Jay and I sang our final song, we saw everyone smiling, holding hands, kissing, and full of love. To see such human growth and connection—I live for those moments.”
Beyoncé also opened up about her recent pregnancy and the subsequent health problems she experienced. “My health and my babies’ health were in danger, so I had an emergency C-section. We spent many weeks in the NICU,” she recounted. “After the C-section, my core felt different. It had been major surgery. Some of your organs are shifted temporarily, and in rare cases, removed temporarily during delivery. I am not sure everyone understands that. I needed time to heal, to recover. During my recovery, I gave myself self-love and self-care, and I embraced being curvier. I accepted what my body wanted to be. After six months, I started preparing for Coachella. I became vegan temporarily, gave up coffee, alcohol, and all fruit drinks. But I was patient with myself and enjoyed my fuller curves. My kids and husband did, too.”
On her ancestry, Beyoncé revealed that she recently learned that “I come from a slave owner who fell in love with and married a slave. I had to process that revelation over time. I questioned what it meant and tried to put it into perspective. I now believe it’s why God blessed me with my twins. Male and female energy was able to coexist and grow in my blood for the first time. I pray that I am able to break the generational curses in my family and that my children will have less complicated lives.”
In regards to her legacy, Beyoncé said she wants her children to be “authentic, respectful, compassionate, and empathetic.” She especially wants her son “not to fall victim to what the internet says he should be or how he should love. I want to create better representations for him so he is allowed to reach his full potential as a man, and to teach him that the real magic he possesses in the world is the power to affirm his own existence.”
Regarding her own self, Beyoncé expressed a desire to “continue to explore every inch of my soul and every part of my artistry,” adding, “I want to learn more, teach more, and live in full.”
You can read the full interview here.