10 Things You Didn't Know About SZA


SZA has been one of the most relevant names in the music scene since releasing 'SOS' back in December. Best known for off-the-wall vocal range and tantalizing R&B grooves, she certainly didn't live the traditional background that many other artists followed to success. If anything, her upbringing is proof that their isn't one roadmap to success.

Here are 10 facts about SZA's past that may surprise you.

She was the First Female on the TDE Roster

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Any self-proclaimed hip-hop head will know about Top Dog Entertainment. Featuring the likes of Kendrick Lamar and Isaiah Rashad, the collective was arguably the household name for hip-hop talent at it's peak. However, the record companies' first female signing was actually SZA. A friend attending an event with SZA convinced the TDE President to take a listen to her music. After hearing a few of her snippets back in 2011, they signed her at 23 years old.

She was once Fired for Eating Weed-Laced Brownies

After graduating from college, SZA took a variety of low-paying jobs in order to pay rent. At 23 years old, the New-Jersey based artist was "completely broke" when she signed her record deal with TDE. During one brief stint at clothing company Diesel, she was fired for eating weed-laced brownies that gave her a bad reaction.

She Aspired to be an Olympic-Level Gymnast

SZA was active in sports throughout her scholastic years. As a sophomore in high school, she was the fifth ranked gymnast in the US. However, she would soon thereafter give up the sport after realizing that she wouldn't make the Olympics. Stating "If I can't win, I won't play," the decision has definitely worked out in the long-run for her.

She had no Plans to Pursue Music until after College

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SZA had absolutely no plans to pursue music until after college. Focused as a gymnast in high school and later pursuing a degree in marine biology at Delaware State University, the idea only cemented when she decided to drop out of college. Her reasoning was simple, she hated it. "I drank Malibu and smoked week everyday. And slept." She would work a variety of blue-collar jobs while creating music on the side, before she received her first paycheck in music at age 23.

She was Kicked Out after Leaving School

View this post on Instagram A post shared by SZA (@sza)

SZA was kicked out of her family home after quitting college. Her mom wouldn't have it, viewing SZA's decision as an abandonment of her dreams for her. SZA would spent the next few months sleeping at friends' house. "That time of my life sent me into a crazy depression, but it also lit a fire under me to make something of myself." Her mother later regretted her harshness on her daughter, stating that "I'm so glad she didn't listen to me." However, SZA may not have ended pushing herself musically if her mother had let her stay.

She Went to the same High School as Lauryn Hill

Two of the most talented R&B vocalists of all-time went to the same high school. 15 years prior to SZA, Lauryn Hill also attended Colombia High School in New Jersey. SZA performed and give a speech at her old high school back in 2018 after being inducted in the school's hall of fame. She certainly didn't have an easy experience in high school, as she's since opened up about the bullying and Islamophobia that she was forced to endure as a teenager.

She Was Raised as an Orthodox Muslim

SZA has been open about the emotional abuse she faced post-9/11 as a Muslim. Admitting that she stopped wearing a hijab after being bullied and stereotyped for her beliefs, she was bullied throughout her childhood for her beliefs. She stated "It pains me to see all of this Islamophobia growing when I know the damage that causes. Where it comes from a place of ignorance and fear." However, she's learned to embrace her beliefs with time. The talented singer still fasts for Ramadan every year.

She Wrote a Song for Rihanna

Back in 2014, SZA wrote "Consideration" with the intention of the track appearing on 'CTRL.' However, she decided to give the song to Rihanna in order to impress Pharrell Williams. The track would end up appearing on Rihanna's eighth studio album, 'Anti.' It wasn't the only that she would write for another big-name female artist. In addition, she wrote "Feeling Myself," which appears on Nicki Minaj's 'The Pinkprint.'

She has a Unique Songwriting Process

The majority of artists will write their lyrics down while hearing a beat. However, SZA has a unique process. Similar to Jay-Z, she freestyles off of beats off of the top of her head. Back in 2020, she tweeted "I freestyle 90% of everything. Tryna learn how to write stuff down because most of my favs do." Guided by her imaginative impulses, she's undeniably a master at articulating the woes of modern romance. Her most recent record, 'SOS,' was likely her best project from a songwriting perspective to date.

The SOS Album Cover was Inspired by Princess Diana

View this post on Instagram A post shared by SZA (@sza)

SZA is seated at the edge of a diving board on the 'SOS' album cover, peering out into the vastness of the ocean. The image directly mirrors a photo of Princess Diana taken back in 1997 on a lake in Portofino, Italy. When describing the cover, she said "I just liked how isolated she (Princess Diana) felt, and that was what I wanted to convey the most." The narrative around the album certainly fits this sentiment, as much of 'SOS' discusses her falling in and out of love with a lover, as well as her struggles in processing that experience.

via: https://www.hotnewhiphop.com/643104-10-things-you-didnt-know-about-sza

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