SZA was nominated for five awards at the 2018 Grammys, but she left the ceremony empty-handed, and fans were incensed by the gross oversight.
Everybody was bumpin' Ctrl last summer. SZA should have at least taken home the award for Best New Artist. GQ decided to check in with the Ctrl singer to find out how she was getting on and what she has learned from the process.
"I felt a shift. Like, I came a really long-ass way. I didn’t imagine this album doing much anyway. I was so grateful to even have been honored by being nominated and having so many people f*ck with my music. I feel like at some point you start to get sucked up into the accolades and you’re like, Oh, this is what this is about, and this is what quantifies my success or me as an artist or a human being.
We reached a billion streams on Spotify. The United States f*cks with my songs. We’re changing little girls’ lives across the world, and we didn’t even know what we were doing when we started. This is something much bigger than me and a f*cking trophy. I’m appreciative of the opportunity. But sh*t happens."
She also addressed Alesia Cara's win and the backlash which followed:
"You know, I never looked at the Internet [after the Grammys]. I never looked at anything anyone ever said after that online—not once. The only time I ever heard about it was in person, when someone walked up to me and was like, “You were robbed” or whatever the f*ck. I was like, “I feel you.” My home girl actually showed me Alessia [Cara]’s post and I thought, This is really crazy.
I just didn’t know how to take it. I didn’t say anything, I didn’t post, because I’ve never had to deal with anything I really believed in wholeheartedly, or invested in, and went through something that publicly before. I wanted to be honest as f*ck, and if today I’m just mad as hell, I don’t want to say something that reflects me being mad as hell. But I definitely feel blessed now. I also don’t feel compelled to explain myself.
If anything, I feel compelled to express that I really, really f*ck with Alessia Cara. She’s beautiful as fuck, her voice is like water, it’s like milk, I think it’s gorgeous. It has so much dimension, and she deserves every accolade that she gets. And people can’t be mad. I don’t give a f*ck when her album came out! She sounds great right now! So, like, it’s over. You have to just move over and be grateful for the shit that did happen in your favor."
SZA is currently the cover story for The FADER Magazine's #112, The Earth Issue, Spring 2018.
Check out the covers below.