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Cape Fear Voices/The Teen Scene

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SZA’s Story

SZAs+Story
Photo by Sudhith Xavier on Unsplash

SZA is a woman people can look up to. Every year she continues to advance in the music industry. But it wasn’t easy for her to get to the place she is in now. She believes that doing just the right things isn’t always the way to reach success. In a 2023 interview, SZA said, “I don’t like that. Black excellence is NBA Youngboy putting out projects and speaking his heart and screaming into a microphone.” This shows how she believes it doesn’t take having a perfect past to create a victorious future.

Solana Imani Rowe, now shortened to SZA, continues to grow every day. She was born on November 8, 1989, and raised in Maplewood, New Jersey. As a child, she was bullied quite often. SZA is Muslim, and as a child, she wore a hijab, yet took it off a lot to fit in more. SZA always stayed faithful to her religion and continues to do so. In another 2023 interview, she stated, “I was bullied because I wasn’t quiet, and I was awkward at the same time.” During her middle and high school years, she did cheer and gymnastics for thirteen years. One year she even ranked nationally.

In her college years, SZA went to three different colleges before choosing to study Marine Biology. She ended up dropping out of Delaware State in her final semester to focus on her mental health. In 2013, SZA became the first female signed with TDE (Top Dawg Entertainment) after Terrence Louis Henderson Jr. or “Punch” heard a recording of her singing. From then on, her music began to flourish.

SZA’s first production was made in 2014 as an EP. The name of the EP was “Z”. Later in 2017, she produced her debut studio album “Ctrl”. Later in 2018, her song “All The Stars” with Kendrick Lamar was featured in Black Panther. In between these two albums, she featured in many songs. Her 2022 album, “SOS” quickly became her best-selling album with over 5 million units sold in the US. These collabs were with Nicki Manaj and Beyonce where she co-wrote the song “Feeling Myself” with them, and with Rihanna in “ANTI”, and other people like Justin Timberlake, Cardi B, Post Malone, Travis Scott, Lizzo, Doja Cat, and more.

Since then, SZA has been awarded countless times for the music she produces. Her first Grammy was in 2021 with Doja Cat for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. In the 2024 Grammy Awards, she was nominated for nine Grammies and won three of them. Her famous song “Snooze” with over 800 million listens worldwide, won for the top R&B song. She then got another award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance with Pheobe Bridgers from “Ghost In The Machine”. Lastly, “SOS” won the top Urban Contemporary Album. It is no surprise that SZA has achieved so much already with her music, and I am sure she will only go up from here.

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