sza was ‘mad as hell’ about not winning a grammy
Photography Hanna Moon. Fashion Director Alastair McKimm. From i-D The Sounding Off Issue, no. 350, Winter 2017.
If there was one person that deserved to walk away from this year’s Grammys with one (or more) awards, it was SZA. Her debut album CTRL was undeniably the definitive sound of 2017 and she had an impressive five nominations, so when she left the ceremony empty handed it’s understandable that she was “mad as hell”. We were mad as hell right along with her.
After being snubbed in every category, SZA revealed to GQ: “You feel like you’re really falling short and that you fucking failed your fans.” Later in the revealing interview the singer revealed that she didn’t think much of CTRL to begin with (which is odd, considering it’s full of absolute bops, and proves that sometimes even the best of us get imposter syndrome). “I didn’t imagine this album doing much anyway”, she said.
“I was so grateful to even have been honoured by being nominated and having so many people fuck 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’.”
After the Grammys SZA stayed quiet, dealing with her disappointment without posting online. But she admitted to GQ: “I wanted to be honest as fuck, and if today I’m just mad as hell, I don’t want to say something that reflects me being mad as hell.”
There’s something infinitely human, humbling and relatable about someone as fierce, confident and talented as SZA admitting that setbacks and snubs affect them just as much as the rest of us, but that we shouldn’t let us keep us down. The artist went on to say that she still felt blessed, and that she didn’t go into music, or create an album, just to win awards.
“This is something much bigger than me and a fucking trophy”, she said. “Shit happens.”
Couldn’t have put it better myself.