SZA says she was frustrated and “mad as hell” after going home from the 2018 Grammy Awards empty-handed . The singer-songwriter was nominated for five Grammys, including Best New Artist, Best R&B Song, and Best Urban Contemporary Album.
After the letdown, SZA remained mum on her disappointment, but now she has spoken out in an interview with GQ. She explained her silence, saying, “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 don’t want to say something that reflects me being mad as hell.”
Although the artist states the loss made her feel like she “failed [her fans],” she was also bothered by the backlash Alessia Cara received for winning Best New Artist over her. “My homegirl actually showed me Alessia [Cara]’s post, and I thought, ‘This is really crazy,” she said.
SZA experienced a shift and was humbled by the situation. “I was so grateful to even have been honored by being nominated and having so many people f**k 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**ks 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**king trophy. I’m appreciative of the opportunity. But s**t happens.”
In the moment, SZA said she felt compelled to express her appreciation of Cara’s voice and music. She will be working on her next album, and that process is not done “with the Grammys in mind.” Her only mission is to make “really good f**king music and just try to touch people.”
Last June @SZA dropped her first major-label album ‘Ctrl’. It’s all twentysomething angst and insecurities with a heart of neo-soul and pop—part Erykah Badu, a dash of Björk. If the charts didn’t prove SZA was a star, the five Grammy nominations—including Best New Artist—solidified it. Then she was shut out for every single award. After losing, SZA was “mad as hell” and the internet was pissed off on her behalf. So how 2017’s favorite new artist holding up in 2018? Find out at the link in bio. (swipe) (📸 @nathanielgoldberg)
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Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.