From Reluctance to Recognition: How SZA Embraced Change
Before SZA became a top-streamed artist on Spotify in 2023 and the leader in Grammy nominations, she faced a challenging decision. She had to give her song “Consideration” to Rihanna, a much more prominent star at the time. Rihanna included this track in her 2016 album Anti. Initially, this was a hard pill for SZA to swallow.
“I cared so much,” SZA shared in a recent Variety interview. “I was so, just, frustrated. And I felt like, ‘I’ll never have anything this cool again.’ I’ll never make anything this cool again, and that was so crazy and so wrong.”
SZA had planned “Consideration” for her 2017 album Ctrl. She even prepared a music video for it. However, just days before its release, Rihanna requested the song for Anti. The negotiations happened without SZA’s knowledge. “It was already done,” she recalled. “Whatever the conversation, label-wise, was already done. It was just a matter of accepting.”
Related: Check out a list of SZA’s best songs.
“Consideration” became the opening track on Anti, featuring SZA. Her voice blends with Rihanna’s in the song’s refrain. This collaboration, though initially unwelcome, turned out to be a blessing. It gave SZA significant exposure. Listen to the track:
“Now I’m so glad that that happened, and that it didn’t cost me anything,” SZA reflected. “If anything, I gained a bunch from it. And I thank God that I made cool music outside of that. I don’t know why I just really thought my creativity would just stop, and this was the pinnacle of what I could make.”
SZA’s journey with “Consideration” shows her resilience and adaptability in the ever-evolving world of hip-hop and R&B. Her initial frustration gave way to gratitude, marking a significant step in her artistic growth and collaboration in the music industry. She would go on to create modern classics like CTRL and SOS.
Watch the full Variety interview below:
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