SZA is about to take Ctrl. Just days before releasing her debut album, the Top Dawg Entertainment songstress paid a visit to “The Breakfast Club,” revealing how the past few years led up to this moment.
“This album is like a release,” she explained. “Over the last four years, I haven’t just been doing music. I’ve been burying friends, burying family members, burying weight, the way I feel about myself, the way I feel about God, the way I process information. I’ve just been growing as a human being and I didn’t even realize that I was kind of in a box. I was missing a lot of world going on. Singing from my perspective of the world, I felt trapped in myself and around my friends, and around guys. I couldn’t explain it. It was weird. I felt very invisible around very many people.”
The album was also inspired by SZA’s view of control in her life. “Ctrl is a concept,” she said. “I’ve lacked control my whole life and I think I’ve craved it my whole life. I couldn’t really arrive at it and now, I’m not really looking to arrive at it anymore. I’m just happy to be present. It’s weird. If you try to control a future moment, it’s impossible. There’s no such thing as control anyway. It’s just a concept, a word, a fantasy. But if you focus on the way you feel in the now and what you do with the now, I feel like it leads to having true control in the future.”
Featuring Kendrick Lamar, Travis Scott, James Fauntleroy, and Isaiah Rashad, Ctrl is due June 9, but there was a point when SZA says she didn’t know when it would actually be released. Back in October of 2016, she criticized her label for her album delays. Looking back, she says it was a “childish” episode fueled by “pressure.”
“I’m just hella childish,” she explained. “When I get caught up in some shit, depending on what it is, I don’t know, I just felt very overwhelmed. I felt the pressure. Halfway through, I felt like people were expecting something from me. I was like, ‘I don’t know how to meet expectations. I’m just a human being that’s borderline not even sure if this is a hobby or not.’ I felt a lot of pressure. I didn’t know what to do.”
That night, SZA spoke with key figures in TDE. “I spoke to Top, I spoke to Dot, I spoke to Punch that night,” she said. “They didn’t even say anything. They just listened to me.” Eventually, she realized that the label was helping her every step of the way. “They just supported me the way I was,” she added. “I just went through mad different phases of wildin’ out and being me. I think they just supported me every time.”
After releasing her album, SZA is set to hit the road. “I’m really excited this time,” she said. “Last time, with the tour, I didn’t know what I was doing. I never performed live.”
Plus, watch the “Love Galore” singer open up about her weight loss, religious upbringing, and relationship with her parents.