SZA found mainstream fame under Top Dawg Entertainment, but she initially wanted to sign to another label. In an interview with The New York Times Magazine, the singer revealed she had her mind set on working with Odd Future.
“I wanted to be with like, Odd Future.” She added, “I felt more like a (Christian) Clancy girl.”
SZA met manager Terrence Henderson aka Punch in 2011 when she, then a worker at 10.Deep, delivered some clothes to him backstage at a Kendrick Lamar concert. Her friend had been playing her music, which captured Punch’s attention. She didn’t sign with him until two years later.
When releasing her debut album, Ctrl, SZA says her motivation was to prove she could do everything. The process for SOS was a bit more difficult.
“I didn’t even know how to make” the album, SZA said, “ ’cause I didn’t have a purpose. But now it’s like, I did everything I wanted to do.”
Prior to the album’s release, SZA learned of the sophomore curse, and began to cancel some public and press appearances. She even prepared herself for negative feedback.
“I don’t expect anything,” SZA said. “I’m ready for the hate, or backlash, or disappointment.”
The opposite proved to be true. SZA’s SOS has spent its first seven weeks atop the Billboard 200. Reflecting on the accomplishment, the singer says, “Part of me feels like, ‘Wait, this album is really good,’ and I can’t imagine being any more famous, or any more successful. I’m like, ‘Am I about to die? Fall over the edge?’ It’s like, my album has to tank, because if it’s any better, if it goes so well, I have to die after that. Because no one gets that.”
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