SZA will be the subject of a profile in Billboard’s upcoming January 28 issue. In the story, she revealed the release date for her upcoming album, CTRL: February 3.
SZA debuted the project’s first single, “Drew Barrymore,” on Jimmy Kimmel Live a week and a half ago.
Billboard released a couple snippets from the upcoming story, and you can check them out below. She talked about working with Rick Rubin and Rihanna, sleepaway camp (which she used as inspiration on the album) and more.
Working with Rick Rubin:
“I had this mentality that ‘more is more’ — more reverb, more background [vocals]. I played him a bunch of songs, and he would tell me, ‘The more you take away from any piece, the more room you create for everything else to be beautiful and grow.’ I never felt that before, the editing urge. Once you strip everything down, you’re forced to say something.”
Recording with Rihanna:
”She wanted to work with me, and I played some jams that I was working on for myself, and it went from there. Rihanna doesn’t give a f— about anyone around her. She’s in her own space at all times. But she’s not rude — she’s comfortable. As a shy person, that was something cool to witness.”
On sleepaway camp:
“I [wrote about] my younger life, which was haphazard: being at sleepaway camp away from my parents, being the only black girl, not even noticing until I got older, dealing with boys, self-hate, growth and God. It’s the first time I’m literally writing about my life instead of figuratively writing about it.”
On having her voice heard:
“One time I met my boyfriend’s boss and he said, ‘Let’s see what this music is about.’ I don’t listen to my music on my own, and when I pressed Play, my voice was so quiet! There were no emotional moments. It felt boring. I was like, ‘OK, I need to exercise in letting go.’”