Relentless Beats

SZA Delivers a Stunning Performance on Debut Album ‘Ctrl’

Solána Imani Rowe, or simply SZA, has just released her most impeccable work to date–a full-length debut album titled Ctrl. If by some chance you haven’t yet heard of SZA chances are you will be soon. In 2013 she was the first female singer/songwriter to be signed to Top Dawg Entertainment after the release of several successful mixtapes. She’s got a unique style and vocal tone that makes her stand out amongst the rest.

Ctrl has been one of the most anticipated albums of the year and the response to the album has been massive. It’s raw, honest, and most importantly–relatable. SZA told Billboard, “I wrote about my younger life, which was haphazard: being at ­sleepaway camp away from my parents, being the only black girl, not even noticing until I got older, dealing with boys, self-hate, growth, and God. It’s the first time I’m literally writing about my life instead of figuratively writing about it.” She tackles themes of nostalgia, abandonment, and sexuality for this R&B masterpiece that bends the genre’s limits.

There were 3 singles released, “Love Galore” featuring Travis Scott, “Broken Clocks,” and my personal favorite, “Drew Barrymore,” which actually features a short cameo from the actress in the music video. In addition to Travis Scott, the album features appearances from James Fauntleroy, and SZE’s Top Dawg labelmates Kendrick Lamar and Isaiah Rashad. Elements of jazz, soul, indie, pop, and even rock find their way onto the 14-track album.

If you haven’t already, do yourself a favor and stream the album now. It’s a brilliant collection of tracks that will take you a journey of self-exploration.

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