SZA isn’t rushing to release her next album. In a recent interview with Complex, the singer opened up about the highly-anticipated follow-up to her 2017 Grammy Award-nominated debut CTRL, with the calm serenity of someone who isn’t fazed by the hoards of fans who have been begging for new music on a near-daily basis for the past five years.
“I live in my ideal situation,” SZA said. “I don’t have any deadlines, because at the end of the day, when my shit comes out, it comes out. And if ever I lose my ability to choose, I have no problem vacating my current life and doing something different. I’m not glued to being an artist for the rest of my life or anything for that matter. I’m seeing where it takes me.”
The forthcoming project is set to be her last release under RCA, who SZA has held responsible for the delayed release, as well as Top Dawg Entertainment president Terrence “Punch” Henderson. But Punch says the album is on its way, describing it as “somebody who’s lost and then discovered themselves.”
He seems to have a more solid grasp on the album’s identity than SZA does, with the singer expressing: “I don’t even know what this album is about and what it sounds like. Which is why I had to go to the mode of what feels good to my brain and to my energy and the songs that I think are hot, I just have to go with them.”
Having been hard at work on the record for years now, only sharing a few scattered singles like “Hit Different” and “Good Days” in the interim, SZA has immersed herself to the point of losing track of where it first began, where it was heading, and where it landed.
“I have no idea what it sounds like to anybody else,” she added. “I really don’t know. It’s so bizarre. It’s weird that I can’t put my finger on it. It’s a little bit of everything. It’s a little aggressive. Some parts are incredibly soft. Some of them are ballads. I don’t know. It’s all over the place. It’s just where my heart is.”
The new record recruits familiar collaborators, including Carter Lang and Cody Jordan Fayne, who were both on the winning team that crafted CTRL. Lang described the album as a continuation of SZA’s debut but with a different sonic approach. Fanye expanded on the description, adding: “Her voice is stronger, her writing is even crazier, her melodies are even crazier. You can just really hear the growth.”