SZA‘s teamed up with eyewear brand Quay for a guest collection featuring eight sunglasses that reflect the different “Sides of SZA,” hence the title of the drop. In similar ways, her latest album, SOS, displays her different sounds, an indication that she’s not just an R&B star. 

“The only reason I’m defined as an R&B artist is because I’m Black. It’s almost a little reductive because it doesn’t allow space to be anything else or try anything else,” she tells Dazed, comparing herself to Justin Bieber, who she says can creatively make “whatever his heart desires.”

“I simply just want to be allowed the same opportunity to make whatever I want without a label, [without it being] based on the colour of my skin, or the crew that I run with, or the beats that I choose,” SZA continued, noting she doesn’t box herself into a genre despite what others may think. “I’m just trying to make music, trying to vibe out and enjoy the experience.”

SZA’s self-expression has changed over the years, and she’s now in a phase where she’s “more childlike and playful than I was in maybe that middle section [of my career], where I kind of lost myself and started caring so much about what people thought.”

After coming to the realization that “no one knows what they are talking about,” she found comfort in doing what she wants. SZA also takes steps to protect her energy from the critics.

“I just try to acknowledge what I’m feeling. If I’m feeling overstimulated, I’m still learning how to distance myself,” she explains. In addition, she makes white baths, prays, meditates and has self-talks to identify her feelings and check in with herself.

 

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