SZA: Shaping the Future of Music


Have you ever wondered who would be the next female music artist to shape the music industry? From Whitney Houston, Madonna, Amy Whinehouse, to Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, and Rihanna. Now we’re all wondering who will come next to be the face of the music industry itself. One name, SZA.
Sza, also known as Solána, is a female R&B music artist that was on the rise to fame in early 2014 when she dropped her first debut EP “Z”. “Z” featured many of her first hits such as Babylon, Child’s Play, and Warm Winds. She started to gain more recognition through collaborating with well known artist Kendrick Lamar on “All The Stars” for the movie Black Panther. It quickly expanded her following and began to give her EP and, at the time, upcoming album “Ctrl” the recognition it deserved. Now we will take a dive into her life before fame, and how it came about to her.
Solána Imani Rowe AKA Sza, grew up in the suburbs of Maplewood, New Jersey. She was born November 8, 1989 in St. Louis. Solána grew up doing gymnastics and cheerleading at Columbia High school and went on to try three separate colleges until she settled on Delaware State University. She studied marine biology but soon dropped out in her last semester. She then in 2010 started working on hip hop music and extended plays. She finally in 2013 signed with Top Dawg Entertainment and released “Z” in 2014. She then released her debut album in 2017 called “Ctrl”. Ctrl was the second longest charting R&B album by a woman in the history of US Billboard.
The top songs on her album “Ctrl” are Normal Girl, The Weekend, and Broken Clocks. In 2018, she and Kendrick released “All The Stars” for Black Panther and slowly released more singles of her own. She went on to release songs for movies such as “Dear Evan Hansen” and “Space Jam: A New Legacy”. From 2018 to 2022 she continued releasing singles but still no new album. Finally on June 9th 2022 she released “Ctrl Deluxe” to celebrate the five year anniversary of “Ctrl”. She featured new songs from 2014 through 2017. She also included solo versions of featured songs. After the release of Ctrl Deluxe, Sza disappeared from social media for a while, not posting as much, but then teased a release of a possible new album November 8th, 2022, on her 33rd birthday. She made the album release official on November 30th, revealing the drop of her new album “SOS” would be released December 9th, 2022.
“SOS” went on to set milestones for Sza. SOS quickly became the #1 album for 8 weeks tying with Taylor Swift’s “Folklore” album, following in “SOS” footsteps, her song “Kill Bill” became the #1 song for 10 weeks After hitting milestone after milestone SZA announced her headlining tour for SOS, which sold out entirely in one day. To continue her insane journey from the drop of SOS, Sza was named one of the many women shaping the music industry by Rolling Stone, she also became the #1 most streamed artist on global spotify. Continuing on down her legacy she’s creating for herself, she became the first black female artist to reach #1 most streamed artist and joined Taylor Swift alongside being the only female artists to chart twenty songs on the top 100 chart simultaneously. To wrap it all up SOS became the biggest streaming album for R&B in US history with a total of 404.58 billion streams and was the first R&B album by a female artist to spend its first 4 weeks upon release in the #1 spot on the billboard 200 in this century
If you’re still asking yourself who could ever earn a spot in shaping the music industry, it’s SZA. She has single handedly become one of the most well-known artists and created this insane memoir for herself. Sza’s story has proven what it’s like to be deserving of a spot like this and what it takes to get there. Welcome Sza to the long list of legendary female artists.