Artist Spotlight: SZA
I first heard SZA's (pronounced “sizza”- a Wu-Tang reference) work when somebody shared her See.SZA.Run EP with me earlier this year. Right when the first track “Bed” plays, you can already feel the emotion that pervades the entire EP. I was mesmerized after the first listen but learning about this girl’s story only made me love her more. Raised an Orthodox Muslim in a small town in New Jersey, her path to music was an unconventional one to say the least.
SZA, aka Solana Rowe, was sheltered by her parents her entire life, Rowe was never exposed to MTV, the radio, or anything deemed inappropriate. After leaving home, she graduated from Cornell majoring in marine biology and then, naturally, started working as a bartender in a strip club. One day a friend was recording and invited her to give singing a try, and so SZA was born. See.SZA.Run, her debut EP, was only released 6 months ago but Rowe has already come out with her second project, S, and has plans to release the 2 more projects in the next few months (the other two will be called “Z” and “A”).
Her sound is an incredible mix of influences ranging from Ella Fitzgerald to Bjork, her lyrics are profound and her voice infectious. When asked to describe her sound she responded “I have no idea why I sound the way I do, but you do whatever the fuck you want to do. If you want to work at a strip club and get your money and still have a degree in marine biology, it’s possible. If you want to be an artist but don’t fit in a genre, fuck it, create one”. You do you SZA. Listen below to See.SZA.Run and S.