Any listener of SZA can unanimously agree that there is something to be said about the raw authenticity of her music. Unlike many songs and artists in the mainstream, SZA releases free-flowing thought, intentional sound and lyricism that promotes self-reflection and feeling from an unapologetically female perspective. We witness a strong reclaiming of a narrative long-held by men in the music industry. There has been a noticeable rise in female voices challenging narratives that could do with some more context, a great example of these kind of intentionally controversial storytelling is Jazmine Sullivan’s recent EP ‘Heaux Tales’.
SZA adds colour, texture and creativity to each story. I for one relate to the emotions she explores and unpacks even when I can’t relate to the experience.
SZA’s growth in the industry along with her artistic development alone is simply inspiring as we have seen SZA blossom into her now globally adored sounds.
If somehow you’ve yet to be acquainted, here’s a piece from a 2018 FADER interview with SZA:
“If her path to Ctrl was somewhat unexpected and winding, it’s appropriate that the time before it was as well. SZA was born Solána Imani Rowe in St. Louis, Missouri, and grew up the daughter of an executive producer at CNN (her father) and an AT&T executive (her mother) in the affluent suburb of Maplewood, New Jersey. Though her parents practiced different religions — her father is Muslim and her mother a Christian — she was raised Muslim and attended a Muslim prep school. She was a gymnast for 13 years and, in high school, also a cheerleader, though her other extracurricular activities were limited. She wasn’t allowed to watch TV or listen to the radio; her music world was limited to whatever her father enjoyed, namely jazz classics from Billie Holiday and Miles Davis."
Here at Verses + Thesis, we had to give appreciation to SZA for Artist of the Month.
I mean … have you listened to “Good Days”?? SZA first teased the song on July 15, 2020, via her Instagram stories. "Good Days" was originally featured at the tail end of the music video for the then #1 charting “Hit Different", released in September 2020. With a teaser alone SZA has since garnered a wider audience and on social media it is evident that ‘Good Days’ is catered to all, not bound to an age demographic or geographic. Exclusive to people from all walks of life. The track was released on Dec 24th and we as listeners received it as a gift that just kept on giving, with quality details like vocal layers from Jacob Collier to the sounds of children laughing at the start of the track, to the Spanish guitar rippling throughout, the hopeful and vulnerable words almost sounding like affirmations instantly transports you to a better place mentally. All of the nuances created a song that truly holds healing abilities. This just further illustrates SZA’s intentionality as a musician, creating for the people.
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