Five years after her breakout debut studio album “Ctrl,” R&B singer SZA is ramping up the rollout for her follow-up effort. The new project is called “S.O.S.” and is set for a December release date, according to a new Billboard interview.
The sounds of the upcoming album are described as a varied palette, mixing her signature lo-fi beats with surf rock sounds, along with a grunge record and an “acoustic guitar-driven ballad” elsewhere in its runtime. SZA described her writing style during the “Ctrl” days as “more carefree,” but shared that she has since sharpened her songwriting ability, while her producer ThankGod4Cody remarked how fast she tends to write songs.
More from Variety
The 33-year-old singer also revealed that she is “currently stressed” about meeting the release deadline, sharing with Billboard that she constantly grapples with the incessant demands of being an emerging pop star in the music business, being put on a pedestal by her fans with a five-year wait between albums and her own personal priorities.
SZA outlined these particular difficulties with an anecdote about performing with DJ Khaled on “Saturday Night Live” in May 2019 while her maternal grandmother, Norma was gravely ill. “I just wish I spent those last moments with her at home. That was a hard lesson,” she said. “Like, ‘Great, I perform for a minute and 30 seconds on ‘SNL’ and I lost my grandma for the rest of my life.’”
On the late night sketch comedy show, SZA performed her solo cut off Khaled’s 2019 “Father of Asahd” album called “Just Us” as part of an overall group performance that included appearances from artists like Meek Mill, Lil Wayne and John Legend. Her late grandmother appeared throughout the “Ctrl” album in speaking interludes and outros, often offering wise advise to her granddaughter. SZA is set to return to the “Saturday Night Live” stage on December 3 — her second appearance as a solo artist — with Keke Palmer hosting.
The rollout for the Top Dawg Entertainment singer’s forthcoming record has picked up the intensity in the past month with the release of her single “Shirt,” which she first teased to fans in 2020 and was accompanied by a music video where she starred alongside actor LaKeith Stanfield. In early November, she released a teaser video titled “PSA” featuring a new music, which fans interpreted to be an unofficial announcement that a new album was on its way.
Best of Variety