Last year was a huge year for SZA. Her debut album, Ctrl, was released to critical acclaim, she collaborated with Solange Knowles, Kendrick Lamar, and Travis Scott, and she was nominated for five Grammy Awards—more than any other female nominee.
Unfortunately the Missouri native didn’t end up going home with any Grammys, something that SZA fans were quick to point out and criticize on social media. People were especially upset that SZA lost the Best New Artist award, an accolade that ultimately went to Alessia Cara. But as SZA recently told GQ, her career is “much bigger than me and a fucking trophy.” She didn’t even bother to scour the Internet for supportive comments after her Grammy losses, opting to focus on making music rather than dwell on the past.
In fact, SZA only became aware of fans’ eagerness to come to her defence when somebody informed her about the Grammys controversy in person and showed her Cara’s response to said controversy. And while she admits that she was initially “mad as hell” about losing out at the Grammys, she was quick to assure GQ’s Mariah Smith that she’s nonetheless a huge fan of Cara and her music.
“She’s beautiful as fuck, her voice is like water, it’s like milk, I think it’s gorgeous. It has so much dimension, and she deserves every accolade that she gets. And people can’t be mad. I don’t give a fuck when her album came out! She sounds great right now! So, like, it’s over. You have to just move over and be grateful for the shit that did happen in your favour.”
If anything, SZA was more upset about letting down her fans than she was about losing to someone as talented as Cara—especially because, as she told The FADER, she’s not as big a fan of Ctrl as everyone else seems to be. “I didn’t even fuck with my own album, so I was so confused and almost, like, angry that everyone fucked with it so much,” SZA explained. “It meant everything I felt about myself was wrong.” And when Ctrl’s second single, “Love Galore,” started climbing the charts, she told Donald Glover (aka Childish Gambino) that the track’s success wasn’t enough to convince her of its quality.
If her statements about having mixed feelings toward “Love Galore,” “The Weekend” and Ctrl as a whole (she told The Guardian that the album would have been “completely different” had she been given another month to work on it) are any indication, SZA is nothing if not a perfectionist. Apart from recording “All the Stars” with her Top Dawg Entertainment labelmate Kendrick Lamar for the Black Panther soundtrack, she hasn’t released any new music since last year and hasn’t given fans any hints as to what’s coming next. One we thing we know for sure? SZA won’t be bending over backwards to try to once and for all win a Grammy.
“I didn’t make my album with the Grammys in mind, and I’m definitely not gonna make my second one with the Grammys in mind,” she said. “I’m just gonna make really good fucking music and just try to touch people.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.