Before her smash-hit album, CTRL, SZA was known as an underground artist whose self-released EPs were popular among millennials interested in new-age neo-soul.
Eventually, her talents landed her a record deal with Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE) and opportunities to write songs for major acts such as Beyoncé, Rihanna, and Nicki Minaj. Along with headlining prominent festivals and award shows with the likes of Jay-Z and labelmate Kendrick Lamar.
Despite the acclaim she received, SZA wasn't quite ready for what 2017 had in store for her. When the 27-year-old debuted her first LP, CTRL, her popularity skyrocketed, leaving the vocalist with a busy schedule she was thankful for but not used to.
Sizzling Social Life
In an interview with Pitchfork, SZA reflects on how her life has changed over the past year and how she's trying to get a grip on her now-hectic social life. "This time last year everything was so different. I had so much time. I have much more appreciation for the time that I do have to myself: Spending time with my mom, or getting my nails done, or going to the sauna, or taking a nap may be the best three hours of my life now," the "Go Gina" singer told journalist Matthew Schnipper.
SZA continued noting how overwhelmed and sad she becomes, at times, because she's still trying to process the momentum she's gained plus the new and different energies she engages with.
"Social sh-t is weird and now it’s getting even weirder ’cause I’m like, “Oh, sh-t, I’m probably not gonna be in a normal social setting for a minute.” But what is getting more normal is that I met James Franco yesterday and I wasn’t scared. I’m usually terrified," she revealed.
SZA also told Matthew during their conversation that she's becoming used to the fact that celebrities want to talk and even hang out with her. When Matthew asked her if she learned any juicy Hollywood secrets, she gave a hilarious "out-there" response:
"Yeah. I feel like everybody kind of knows what’s going on. Some people, the good ones, are really riding the wave by being present and in their own little world."
Whatever the "Doves In The Wind" singer meant, Matthew didn't insist on wanting to learn more. Instead, he asked why did she name her album CTRL?
The singer answered saying she wanted to acknowledge control not being real and as someone who deals with anxiety, SZA is learning that it only breeds negativity, something she doesn't want to expose her team to.
As the interview continued, SZA opened up about what it is like representing the identities of Black women who are not considered "mainstream."
"Yes. I feel like people simplify black women to just an attitude, like we don’t take no [sic] sh-t. But there are so many emotions, so much fear and pressure, so much pride. We need to tap into that sh-t. I feel like it’s important to give women who aren’t black insight to know that we fight fears, insecurities. That we exist in all bounds," the songstress eloquently shared.
CTRL is available for downloads on iTunes.