News SZA: ‘Out Of Shyness I Held Back Creatively’

In something of a scoop, the R&B newcomer tells us exactly what SZA stands for.

SZA is the most expressive of R&B artists. Everything bursting forth from last year’s ‘See. SZA. Run’ release was like one giant headrush. One idea after the next was pinned up against the wall and used for all its worth. Solana Rowe’s still discovering the limits of her sound. In latest track ‘ICE. MOON’, she just about ripped the rulebook to shreds, fusing adventurous, chime-filled production with anything but standard R&B delivery. It took our breath away, back in February. Jon Hatchman decided to catch up with the enigma behind the project. And in our quick conversation, we discovered exactly what ‘SZA’ stands for, and how the debut full-length, due out later this year, is coming along.

When did you first realize that you were going to become a musician? And what made you take the huge step into showbiz?

I never consciuosly realized nor took the step. I just had an affinity for music, a lot on my mind and happen to sound okay at expressing it.

You’ve received a heap of positive feedback regarding your music, but how would you describe your sound?

I would describe my sound as a melting pot of everything I’ve ever been exposed to.

How do you go about writing your music?

I don’t write. I just feel the music and let it come out in the moment. Try not to over think it, keep it organic.

You have a new EP set for release next month, what can we expect from it?

Lots and lots of surprises and a better or worst understanding of my inner thoughts and how my mind works.

How does it differ from your debut release, ‘See.SZA.Run’?

I found myself blossoming and exploring new sounds and melodies this time around. I believe this next EP is a organic progression from what I did just last year. I find myself growing the fuck up everyday.

Were there any direct influences that went into creating your new EP? Be it musical, literary, geographical…

Not consciously. The EP is under construction until the second it comes out so anything is possible. But I guess watching the world influx inspired me to find cause within the crazy. Ive been doing a lot of day dreaming about places I’ve never been, people I’ve never met and feelings I wish I never had. It all just comes out in the booth.

Your new single, ‘Ice.Moon’, was produced by Felix Snow and Patrick Lukens, how did you hook up with them?

My manager texted me his name and where to go. The first time we hung out it was like an awkward play date. We barely said a word and I wanted to impress Felix. Out of shyness I held back creatively. We experimented for 8 hours and at the end of the session we decided to share music that we loved and got to know each other synergistically. Christina encouraged me to trust myself, three days later he sent the beat for ‘Ice.Moon’ to my inbox and I lost my shit. We have been in ‘musical love’ ever since…he just gets me.

Can we expect an album release in the not-too-distant future?

Absolutely! I can’t say much but I will say it’s titled ‘The White Raven’

What are your plans for the rest of 2013?

I plan to do a bunch of US shows, visit my fans in UK and Europe, release some trippy ass videos and an ass load of music.

What do the initials SZA stand for?

I have never explained this to anyone before. So you are the first to know. S - Soveriegn Z - zig zag A- Allah… (referencing the supreme alphabet).

Hear SZA’s latest track, ‘AFTERMATH’, taken from the new EP, due out 9th April.

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