The music of American singer and songwriter SZA mixes R&B, rock and soul; his debut album, ‘Ctrl’ (2017), was certified platinum.
Who is SZA?
SZA is often referred to as an R&B singer, although her music also encompasses elements of rap, rock and soul. His first studio album, CTRL, launched at No. 3 on the Billboard 200. As a songwriter, she taps into her own insecurities and concerns. to have felt ostracized in his youth, SZA is very welcoming to his fans. His artistic collaborators include his bandmate Kendrick Lamar, Rihanna, Doja Cat and Justin Timberlake.
Early life, education and real name
SZA was born as Solána Imani Rowe in St. Louis, Missouri on November 8, 1990. The name SZA, pronounced “sizzah”, is a word acronym of the supreme alphabet. The supreme alphabet is part of a philosophical system created by a former member of the Nation of Islam.
SZA grew up in Maplewood, New Jersey. She has noted his family was “one of the only black families in our five-block radius.” Her father worked at CNN as a producer, while her mother held a management position at AT&T. Her father was a Muslim and SZA attended an Islamic preparatory school, although she later stepped aside of this faith.
SZA has describe a lonely childhood. “I didn’t have any siblings who lived with me, all of my siblings are 10 years apart, and when you don’t have any friends or playmates, there’s plenty of room to get weird.” She was a gymnast and a dancer, but she was also an outsider who intimidated at school.
Growing up, SZA listened to all kinds of music, from jazz to indie rock to boy bands. Still, she never expected to pursue a career in the music industry. She went to Delaware State University to study marine biology. She changed schools once, then dropped out.
Breaking into the music industry
SZA had a rapper brother who made him sing hooks for his mixtapes. This led to SZA create your own music while working jobs such as a salesman at Sephora and a strip club bartender. SZA took to SoundCloud to share songs like “Aftermath,” which gained fans. His first EP, See.SZA.Run, was released in 2012.
In 2011, SZA met Terrence “Punch” Henderson, the head of Top Dawg Entertainment. After hearing some of his music, Punch was impressed enough to keep listening to SZA’s work. In 2013, SZA released another EP, S. That same year, she signed with Top Dawg Entertainment, making her the first female artist to join the label. She released the EP Z in 2014.
First album: ‘Crtl’
SZA’s debut album, CTRL, suffered numerous delays before its June 2017 release. SZA had wanted to to include her song “Consideration,” but after Rihanna heard the song, the superstar added it to her own album, Anti. SZA still produced and was featured on the song. The album making process also forced SZA to face other problems. Like her Explain after the release of the album, “I have some anxiety. It’s hard for me to finish things because I feel like people are going to hate it.”
When CTRL finally arrived, she was greeted with enthusiasm. SZA’s blend of R&B, rock and soul, accompanied by her mother’s vocals, exposed vulnerabilities that bound with people in their twenties, especially younger black women. Issa Rae was so drawn on file that she used several CTRL tracks from the second season of his television series Unsafe.
A popular song from CTRL, “Drew Barrymore”, had a cameo appearance by Barrymore herself in its video. On another track, “Doves in the Wind”, SZA sang along with Kendrick Lamar. The singles “Love Galore” and “The Weekend” went platinum. The album resulted in five Grammy nominations for SZA, making her the most nominated female artist that year.
However, at the Grammy Awards in 2018, SZA did not win any statuettes. The experience was first upsetting, but eventually one she took in stride. SZA Recount Cosmopolitan in 2021, “I’m just a girl from the suburbs. I never dreamed of being nominated for a Grammy.” The losses also did not hold CTRL to stay on the Billboard 200 for more than 200 weeks.
The next phase of SZA
While on tour in 2018, SZA needed a break to take care of herself vocal cords. After CTRL, SZA also had to deal with the death in 2018 of her friend Mac Miller and the death of her grandmother in 2019. She found comfort in Pilates, meditation and sound bowls; she even played with the latter.
As with her debut album, SZA’s next album has faced delays as she continues to be wary of sharing her music with the world. She admitted in a 2020 interview, “I just don’t know what represents me right now…It’s just a matter of what picture I want to paint. What world do I want to build? That’s what which makes it scary.”
However, the expectation of a second studio album did not prevent SZA from exerting his talent. She collaborated with Lamar on “All the Stars” for Marvel’s soundtrack Black Panther (2018), and with Justin Timberlake on “The Other Side” of Trolls World Tour (2020) soundtrack. In 2020, SZA’s hit singles “Hit Different” and “Good Days” were released. “Good Days” reached #9 on Billboard’s Hot 100.
In 2021, SZA joined Doja Cat on “Kiss Me More” and released another new song, “Shirt”. SZA has teamed up with Gray Goose Essences to stream a virtual concert, In bloom, July 1, 2021. The show used a drone to capture footage and had 14.1 million live viewers on YouTube.
In February 2021, SZA coordinated with American Forests and TAZO to form the TAZO Tree Corps. The group will employ individuals to plant trees. Their efforts are aimed at addressing the kind of environmental racism that plagues many black and brown neighborhoods, which often have few trees and high rates of air pollution.
“I crave clean air and having trees shouldn’t even be a conversation”, SZA Recount Billboard. “It’s kind of silly that it’s even a privilege, or something great that you can add to a community. How come we don’t all have the same experience?”
SZA has also worked with the Lonely Whale group to protect the ocean and advocated against food deserts.