As 2023 comes to a close, R&B singer-songwriter SZA (neé Solána Imani Rowe) reflected on what the year 2023 has been like for her career-wise in an interview with Zane Lowe on Apple Music posted on YouTube on Dec. 12.

SZA spent about 10 months traveling the world and connecting with her audience through her music. That, to her, is why she does it all—the reason why she breaks her neck. She certainly doesn’t do it for the publicity.

“It’s literally why I’m doing it, like the connection. I hate being famous. It sucks. I hate scrutiny. I hate being perceived. I love connecting with people in the crowd. When I feel like it’s really me and you right now, I go eye to eye with so many people during this show, and it’s something about touring that it makes the love real, intangible.”

The singer feeds from her audience’s energy and works hard to shoot that energy back.

SZA struggled mentally with balancing her true identity and her celebrity status.

She was aware of the world constantly watching her every move and post and formulating opinions, so she became hellbent on refraining from stepping outside the world’s expectations, pushing her further from the person she thought she knew.

“I started having weird panic attacks I never had before and crying and just in spaces…like I’m at a photo shoot for Wall Street [Journal] or I’m crying on set because I’m freaking out about being perceived,” she said. “I’m just like, I just can’t do it, and then that’s when I ask myself, ‘Oh, this is that juncture where people like aren’t heard from anymore.’ Where they’re like, ‘Oh, what happened to her? What happened to this person?'” 

She continued, “Either they had a mental breakdown, or they lashed out at somebody. Once that perception starts and, it’s like I don’t want to talk to anybody. I just want to disappear.”

The “Kill Bill” singer won three BET Awards, four Billboard Music Awards, a Billboard Woman of the Year award, two iHeart Radio Music Awards, an MTV Video Music Award and four Soul Train Awards in 2023 thanks to her album SOS.

The record gained much praise and admiration from fans and fellow artists, pushing her to extend her SOS Tour from Feb. 21, 2023, to Oct. 29.

She won a Grammy in 2022 and is up for nine 2024 awards. 

One would think the singer’s goal would expand after reaching new heights, but SZA said she hasn’t had any since she reached them.

“I’ve gone platinum. I didn’t think I’d ever go platinum. I sold a bunch of Records. I got to meet Stevie Wonder. I got to meet Beyoncé and work with her. I got to meet Frank Ocean. My mom came, and dad came to all these cool countries to see me perform. I’ve had sold-out shows. I got to headline a festival. What else do I want? I’ve been nominated for Grammys. I won a Grammy. I’m done for me, personally.


Comment Disclaimer: Comments that contain profane or derogatory language, video links or exceed 200 words will require approval by a moderator before appearing in the comment section. XOXO-MN