Solange Knowles goes out in public wearing a mask.

The singer lives in New Orleans with her nine-year-old son Daniel Julez, who she had aged just 17, and her video director boyfriend Alan Ferguson, and loves the city's laid-back vibe and vibrant culture, especially because no one looks at her twice when she covers her face in public.

She said: ''I feel at home and there's literally never a dull moment. You can walk out of your home and experience 12 different things that you've never seen before. And which other city can you walk around with a mask on and its OK? I'm able to roll around anonymously all the time.''

Solange, 27, has grown up in her older sister Beyoncé's shadow and insists the superstar's success is well deserved because she has an ''insane'' work ethic.

She laughed: ''I have never seen anything like it in my life, from anyone. It's absolutely insane. Now that she's become a mother, the way that she's able to balance that is so inspiring. If I am ever feeling like I want to open up my mouth and complain about how hard I am working, I think, 'Uhhh! Sit down!' ''

Solange decided to found her own Sony imprint Saint Records last year and believes being independent has given her the freedom to be in control of her career.

She told ASOS magazine: ''There is so much beauty to a lot of the industry but a lot of it I think is really s**t. There are times you see the people running things, and you think, there's no way that I feel, as a young artist, that I'm not capable of making those decisions.

''Not only do I want to do it myself on the music front, I want to put it out myself and see it through in every aspect, which feels really rewarding.''