‘I Never Imagined I’d Make It This Far’: SZA On Making New Music and Practicing Self-Love

The singer-songwriter discusses her return to stage and why we all need to be much kinder to the Earth (and to ourselves).

“I use the anniversary of CTRL as an opportunity to cry and reflect every year,” says singer-songwriter SZA, 30, of her four-time Grammy-nominated debut album, which she released in 2017. “I never imagined I’d make it this far.” It’s this candor and vulnerability that fans love and, ultimately, it’s fueled the Missouri-born, New Jersey-raised star’s musical growth and distinctive ethereal sound, keeping her high in the charts four years on.

The musical landscape irrefutably changed in 2020, ushering in a time when artists’ schedules ground to a halt. And in 2021, it’s safe to say that SZA’s making up for lost time. In between jumping on tracks with fellow superstars Doja Cat and Megan Thee Stallion, SZA placated her fans’ desperate pleas for new material by quietly dropping the video (that she also directed) for smash-hit single “Hit Different.” Featuring Ty Dolla $ign and British musician Jacob Collier, it sent social media platforms into a tailspin and served as her first solo release since her highly acclaimed album. This was closely followed by “Good Days,” a global smash charged with a declaration of hopefulness—a message needed now more than ever. It quickly earned the musician a spot in the top 10 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Chart back in January.

Photo: Blair Caldwell

This story originally appeared on: Vogue - Author:Eni Subair