Solána Imani Rowe, known professionally as SZA, is an American singer, songwriter, and rapper. She was born on November 8, 1988 in St. Louis, Missouri, where she spent most of her childhood. SZA’s parents were both devout Muslims and she attended a Catholic school, which had a great influence on her as a child. Music was always her passion, and she began writing music and poetry at a young age.
SZA’s career began in 2012 when she was discovered by Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE), an independent record label based in Carson, California. She released her debut EP “See.SZA.Run” in October 2012 followed by another EP “S” in April 2013. SZA’s first studio album, “Z,” was released in April 2014, gaining her critical acclaim and commercial success. The album’s lead single, “Child’s Play” featuring Chance The Rapper, was a commercial success, peaking at number 42 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Chart.
In 2017, SZA released her debut studio album “Ctrl” which gained her a wide range of critical acclaim and commercial success. The album was a hit, and it was nominated for several awards, including a Grammy award for Best Urban Contemporary Album and a BET award for Best Female R&B/Pop Artist. The album was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
SZA has been praised for her unique blend of R&B and hip-hop influences and her honest, confessional lyrics. Her music is often described as introspective, depicting the ups and downs of love, relationships, and self-discovery, all through a unique blend of different genres.
SZA herself has noted that she’s grown a lot over the years, maturing as a person and artist, exploring her personal life and experiences through her music, becoming more self-aware, and developing a deep understanding of who she is and what she wants to say.
Personality and Peers:
SZA is known for her introspective and emotional lyrics, and her music is often praised for its vulnerability and honesty. Her unique blend of R&B, hip-hop, and neo-soul has made her a sought-after vocalist in the industry. In addition to her musical talent, SZA is known for her strong sense of self and her confidence in her individuality. She has been open about her struggles with self-doubt and insecurity, but has also spoken about how she has learned to embrace her flaws and love herself for who she is.
One of the lesser-known stories of SZA is her journey to success, which was not an overnight process, she started out as a relatively unknown artist, releasing her first EP “See.SZA.Run” in 2012, before signing to Top Dawg Entertainment in 2013. She released her first full-length studio album “Ctrl” in 2017, which was a critical and commercial success and earned her multiple Grammy nominations.
SZA’s peers have also had their own unique journey in the industry, one of them is Syd, the front-woman of the band The Internet and a solo artist. She was a member of the alternative hip-hop collective Odd Future before forming the band. Syd’s music is characterized by its smooth and silky R&B sound, and she is known for her emotive and introspective lyrics, similar to SZA. Syd is also openly gay and has been a vocal advocate for LGBTQ+ rights in the music industry.
Another one of SZA’s peers is H.E.R. (short for Having Everything Revealed), is a R&B and soul singer-songwriter. H.E.R.’s music is known for its emotive lyrics and sultry sound. H.E.R.’s rise to fame is a bit unusual, as she initially released her music anonymously in 2016, her true identity was not revealed until 2017. Despite the anonymity, H.E.R.’s music quickly gained a following, and she has since become one of the most sought-after vocalists in the industry.
SZA cites a wide range of influences on her music, including her childhood and family, her religious upbringing, and the various artists and genres that she listened to growing up.
She has cited Missy Elliott, Aaliyah, Nirvana, and OutKast as some of her biggest musical influences, and she has said that she is particularly drawn to artists who are able to take different genres and blend them together in unique and interesting ways.
SZA has also spoken about the importance of self-empowerment and self-expression in her music. She has said that she wants her music to inspire and empower other people, especially other women, to be themselves and to embrace their individuality.
SZA is known for her unique blend of R&B and hip-hop influences, and she has collaborated with several high-profile artists over the years. Here are some of her most notable collaborations:
- Kendrick Lamar: SZA and Kendrick Lamar have collaborated on several songs, including “All the Stars” which was the lead single from the 2018 film “Black Panther” soundtrack. The song was a commercial success, peaking at number 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. They also collaborated on “Babylon” and “Doves in the Wind” off SZA’s studio album “Ctrl”. Their collaboration reflects SZA’s unique blend of R&B and hip-hop with Kendrick Lamar’s powerful verses and lyrical prowess.
- Travis Scott: SZA and Travis Scott collaborated on the song “Love Galore” off of SZA’s debut studio album “Ctrl”. The song was a commercial success, peaking at number 39 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, it was certified 2x Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The song also gained SZA her first Grammy nomination for Best Rap/Sung Performance at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards.
- The Weeknd: SZA and The Weekend collaborated on “Power Is Power” which is a song from the album “For the Throne (Music Inspired by the HBO Series Game of Thrones)” The song was praised by critics and featured SZA’s unique blend of R&B and hip-hop with The Weeknd’s signature crooning vocals.
- Ty Dolla $ign: SZA and Ty Dolla $ign collaborated on “Hit Different” which is a single from Ty Dolla $ign’s album “Featuring Ty Dolla $ign”. The song was praised by critics and featured SZA’s unique blend of R&B and hip-hop with Ty Dolla $ign’s signature style of R&B and hip-hop.
- Maroon 5: SZA and Maroon 5 collaborated on “What Lovers Do” from Maroon 5’s album “Red Pill Blues”. The song was a commercial success, peaking at number 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, it was certified 3x Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
SZA has been praised for her unique blend of R&B and hip-hop influences and her ability to collaborate with artists from different genres and backgrounds. She has a talent for bringing her own unique style and perspective to her collaborations, resulting in some memorable and critically acclaimed songs.
In conclusion, SZA is a talented and accomplished artist whose music and fashion reflect her unique perspective and experiences. Her music is characterized by its blend of different genres, introspective and confessional lyrics, and its ability to empower others. With her unique fashion style, her music and her message, SZA is a symbol of inspiration for many young artists and fans. SZA continues to push boundaries and evolve as an artist, and her fans eagerly await her next project.