sza: “it makes me a little sad” that so many people connected to the emotions of my album

August 28, 2017
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On Saturday, SZA took to the AFROPUNK stage and undeniably brought down the house, but things were a little different than they were the last time she was here. Though the New Jersey artist has been making music for some time, this year’s AFROPUNK was one of her only full sets so far since the release of her critically acclaimed first studio album, Ctrl. “This is the most important crowd,” the singer told AFROPUNK Contributor Gitoo in a backstage interview after the performance. “These are my people.”

And, for the audience, the feeling was certainly mutual. Fans swarmed the stage before her performance and it quickly became one of the most talked about sets of the weekend. It’s clear that SZA’s music—and this album particularly—resonates with a lot of young people going through the relationship ups and downs and feelings of losing control specific to twenty-somethings that the singer beautifully relays on the album. But SZA isn’t necessarily overjoyed that the messages of Ctrl are so universal.

“It makes me a little sad, just because I know how sad I felt, and I’m like, shit, is everyone really that sad?” she explained. “It makes me want to hug—I wish we could hug and talk together.”

And it’s true, the emotions SZA discusses on the albumthe uncertainty of making it through her twenties, being treated as disposable by lovers, and not being a side chick (she insisted again on stage that this is not the subject of “Weekend”), but resigning to sharing a man with others—aren’t generally the greatest feelings in the world. But what makes Ctrl so amazing is that many of us who went through these same things always thought we were alone. SZA let us know that we are not.

“It’s actually super comforting to grow with this many people at the same time,” she told Gitoo. “It feels like a family.”

Check out the full interview below, and all the live content from the festival here!