SZA only announced her new album a few days ago, but it will be getting released on February 3 according to a new interview with Billboard. The release has been rumoured and hungered after since 2014, when she released the stunning ten-track EP Z. It was initially expected that this album – her debut LP – would be titled A, (making up S-Z-A across the three releases), but we now know that it’ll be titled CTRL.
Last year, SZA released her own version of Drake‘s twoAM, and featured on tracks by Rihanna, Kendrick Lamar, Isaiah Rashad, ScHoolboy Q and Ab-Soul among others. Earlier this month she dropped a new single along with the album announcement, Drew Barrymore.
The Billboard interview also provided insight into SZA’s recent influences and experiences, including working with Rihanna and Rick Rubin. SZA featured on Anti’s opening track Consideration; she said, “[Rihanna] 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 fuck 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.”
Speaking about working with production mastermind Rick Rubin, she said, “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.”
SZA also spoke about the album’s themes, talking about how she speaks about her “haphazard” childhood: “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.”
In the same vein, she also speaks about how she has learnt to “exercise in letting go,” citing hearing her own music and finding it emotion-less.
All in all, CTRL is shaping up to be spectacular, and we can’t wait to hear it.