SZA fans, we know you’ve been through a lot since the artist’s stunning debut, CTRL, dropped in 2017. Sure, we’ve all been through a lot. But for those of you who witnessed the meteoric rise—and all too sudden vanquishing—of SZA, this year is promising for her dazzling return.
After the warm reception of last year’s singles “Hit Different” and “Good Days,” it seems that SZA has all the steam she needs to finish the LP. Though she doesn’t want to be fan-pressured into completing the project, the love for “Hit Different” and “Good Days” was deeply felt, inspiring.
“Hit Different,” SZA’s first new single since 2017’s CTRL, features Ty Dolla Sign on the hook. The Neptunes-produced track signals a buff, realized return, with her signature cocktail of mixed emotions and ruminative control. “Good Days,” which has now been gold-certified in Australia and New Zealand, finds SZA in a place of gratitude, psychedelic bliss, and confidence. The “Good Days” music video finds SZA grounded, literally, in this beauty.
Who will appear on SZA’s new album?
In SZA’s Kerwin Frost interview, she confirmed the inclusion of several special guests on her forthcoming LP. BROCKHAMPTON, Justin Timberlake, Post Malone, and Jack Antonoff are all among the list of names she dropped, shedding a superstar light on the sophomore project. Not only has SZA been cooking something up, but from the hit single and guest list alone, we know she’s mastering what could be one of the best hip-hop/soul records of the year.
We wouldn’t be surprised to see Lizzo supporting SZA on her new album as well. We know, because of SZA’s twitter, that she’s heard music from Lizzo’s upcoming album. The now-documented close friendship and artistic appreciation between SZA and Lizzo has also led to collaboration. Just last month, SZA confirmed she recorded with Lizzo for a night. Even though this could be for Lizzo’s album, or another LP entirely, we think the SZA/Lizzo collab we’ve been dreaming up since their dreamy meditation sesh is happening.
Some other exciting collabs on SZA’s new album may include Sam Smith, Adam Levine, and Kendrick Lamar—her TDE label mate, who also appeared on CTRL. We’re also still holding out for that long-rumored collaboration between SZA, Mark Ronson, and Tame Impala, a mix of artists as groovy as it gets. With SZA’s known power, style, and versatility, we wouldn’t be surprised if she delivers a record with someone special on almost every track.
What can fans expect from SZA’s new album?
When it comes to expectations, SZA is more interested in defying them. Though SZA’s vocal style is R&B-leaning, the artist doesn’t feel compelled, or limited to, that definition. “Labeling is so dead and so done, and it really does everybody a disservice,” SZA said to POPSUGAR. She continued, “I think R&B was used as a way to pigeonhole Black music and Black artists who sing their feelings in a very highly emotive and rhythmic way at the same time.
“I literally just had somebody tell me that I wasn’t being R&B enough for something that they were having me working on. But it’s like, you want me to sound how you think Black women should sound based on past music. I consider myself to be singing the blues with rhythm or just singing how I f*cking feel, period.”
SZA’s upcoming album draws from her experiences as a living adult, while CTRL looked back on her high school and college self. Without the chaos of youth, we might find SZA surrounding herself with a more mature sound. Though, in conversation with POPSUGAR, SZA asserted that her “hyperpresent inner child” is still making her way into the music.
Though we were devastated when SZA had to cut her tenure short on 2018’s “The Championship Tour,” we are very confident that SZA will go on tour in 2021—as long as it’s safe. Feeling powerful and centered in her own skin, her voice, we think SZA must be ready to connect with her fans once more. In the mean time, we truly cannot wait for more SZA singles to arrive in the lead-up to her sophomore album, hopefully due out soon.