SZA Announces New Album 'S.O.S.'
It’s been five years since SZA released her debut album Ctrl, but fans won’t have to wait much longer for the follow-up.
After a series of delays, the singer has announced that her highly-anticipated sophomore album S.O.S. will finally arrive next month. She revealed the title and release date in an interview with Billboard, admitting that she is “currently stressed” about meeting the deadline.
“As I wrap things up I’m trying to like pick out the things that I feel like this sounds like I care too much like, what other people think or want me to make and I’m like, ‘F**k that.’ But then I’m also like, ‘Is this singable? Is this memorable? Does this song have structure?'” she said.
Billboard calls S.O.S “the most captivating music she has ever made” instrumentally, with songs that include surf rock, grunge, and an acoustic guitar-driven ballad. “S.O.S is an album that certainly justifies a five-year wait,” declares the magazine.
But it hasn’t been an easy journey for the 33-year-old songstress. “I could literally burst into tears and run through this wall at any moment. I am effectively falling apart,” she says. “But it’s not like, the album pressure… It’s just, life is f-king hard. To be expected to do anything at a high level while life is life-ing is f-king crazy. This isn’t meant for a person; it’s meant for a machine.”
The long-awaited follow-up to 2017’s Ctrl has already spawned a series of hits. In December 2020, SZA released “Good Days,” which was followed by “I Hate U” a year later. Both songs charted in the top 10, peaking at No. 9 and No. 7 on the Hot 100. Last month, she released her latest single “Shirt.”
SZA admits that she would prefer to release music on her own timeline. “I hate the red tape analytics of dropping anything — it’s so stressful,” she explains. “I definitely have heard [the term ‘digital service provider’] more this week and last week than I have ever. I don’t like the way it sounds — it sounds stressful and like something that requires a lot of attention and maneuvering. I hate the word ‘single.’ It’s like, ‘What the f**k separates a single from other sh-t on my album that I like? Why does it have to be different?'”
She’s also unsure what the future holds. “I feel like music, in this capacity, I don’t see longevity,” she says. “I like to create, I like to write, I like to sing, and I like to share. But I don’t know if chasing after superstardom or whatever I’m supposed to be doing right now is sustainable for me or for anybody. I’mma take a good swing at it, and I’mma give ’em my absolute best.”
For now, SZA continues to celebrate her wins, including another Grammy nomination this week for DJ Khaled’s “Beautiful,” which is up for Best Melodic Rap Performance.
“I want to enjoy myself,” she adds. “That’s like my biggest goal right now is to like learn to enjoy myself and be happy.”