Why You Should Be Listening to SZA’s Music Right Now

Solána Imani Rowe, known more familiarly as the breakthrough musical artist “SZA”, has a voice that is worth listening to. With her unique slow-paced tunes and her immensely vulnerable lyrics about love inwards and outwards, it is easy to both dance and cry to her songs.

SZA’s creative and appreciated music is a current spearhead in R&B with her accumulation of over one billion streams on Spotify alone. Her success has earned her nine Grammy nominations within the span of two years and has brought her collaborations with big names like Kendrick Lamar and Travis Scott. However, SZA is not just well-liked and talented, but is also challenging what it means to express emotions and perspective through music. 

SZA wears her heart on her sleeve in her music like no other. She describes personal emotions with an openness that is poetic, direct, and expressive of the female, black, and human experience. She excels at tastefully articulating specific feelings in a way that others can connect to and listen to like an anthem. 

She explores aspirations, doubts, and awareness of both tangible and formerly indescribable feelings. For example, in her song Normal Girl, she discusses her experience with self-acceptance as a black woman within romantic love. In the song, she describes how she just wishes to be a “normal girl”, wanting to be “the type of girl that you take over to mama” and how she wants her father and her partner’s friends to be proud of her. The song explores the constant seeking of approval that is unreachable when set at society’s standards. Graciously, she illustrates the core concept of comparison and approval that millions relate to. 

Another song that capture’s SZA’s lyrical power as an artist is Drew Barrymore. In this song, she describes not fitting the general archetype of what a partner would want her to be, especially in terms of being “ladylike”. She unapologetically responds to that feeling in her song, and she once again completely opens up with her heart on her sleeve about expectations, societal roles, and what it means to be a partner and a woman. 

SZA is a pioneer of the new wave of music that combines current musicality with honest lyrics involving outward and inward perception of love and self. Everyone can relate to her music, yet she maintains her originality by writing around specific, personal experiences.