Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter SZA doesn’t engage much with the press, but she let her fans in on a lot of previously unrevealed news in a cover story for Rolling Stone. In happy news for fans, the story includes the news that Solána Rowe will drop new music this year. (And indeed, shortly after the article was published, Justin Timberlake dropped a single she’s featured on).
However, she won’t promise a full album. “Music is coming out this year for sure. An album? Strong words,” she stated, adding the assurance that the rumors she plans to retire after dropping a trio of albums are false.
While it’s known SZA struggled last year because of the death of her grandmother, Norma, in June 2019, it’s plain her pain was much deeper than she ever publicly expressed. Not long after her grandmother passed away, her aunt died unexpectedly, all of which followed on the heels of Mac Miller, who died from an accidental overdose in fall 2018.
For the final five months of her grandmother’s life, SZA dedicated herself to helping her mother as much as possible with her care. She explained, “My grandma was like my best friend. It was the longest five months of my life.”
More than not wanting to make music, SZA says she didn’t want to exist. She explained, “I didn’t want to make music. I didn’t. I was just trying to not kill myself, and not quit, period. Because it was really fucking hard, and lonely as fuck.”
The 28-year-old said at some point last year, she made a decision to “journey out of this dark-ass depression.” She started going to the gym everyday, practiced more Pilates than ever and began experimenting with crystals and sound bowls.
She then added, “You really have to choose to feel better. You have to. Have to. Because if you don’t, you just die. I decided I’m going to choose that shit for my fucking self, for real.”
The experience has also changed her view on what type of music she’s willing to make. She noted, “I feel like I’m only trying to make music that I care about, and I’m trying to work with people that will fuck with me for real. That’s it. I’m just trying to do everything that is meaningful, and do shit that’s passionate, and remind myself that I’m worth something and talented and a nice girl. Just basic shit. So that’s what the fuck I’ve been doing.”
While it appeared she wasn’t crazy about the cover featuring herself with Megan thee Stallion (real name Megan Pete) and Normani [Hamilton] (see below), she loosened up a bit when her cover story was released. On Instagram, she wrote, “I’m a shy guy . Tryna tellit best I can 🕊🙏🏾 THANK YOU @rollingstone for this honor.”