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SZA Rides Horses & Shares The Inspiration Behind ‘Ctrl’ | IRL

October 13, 2019


Aye, What’s up. I’m Rob. I’m here with my friend. SZA. And we’re here at Gallop NYC. We figured we come here do a little horseback
riding. You ready? I am ready. Are you ready? I’m ready. If you weren’t doing music, do you think
it would be something with animals? Definitely. Animals are a gift. They’re just so calm and sweet. “Do you want to ride a little?” Wow. I just love you. You’re just so beautiful. You wanna try to get on? You ready to get on? Alright, yup and your foot goes in there. Very nice. 9.5 You’re gonna just reach over. Is it all coming back to you now? No? When was the last time you rode a horse? 13. You look nice and tall. You look beautiful up there. I’m trying to remember like what is my posture? Rob, can you stretch up a bit taller? Good. Nice straight back. Very good. Yeah, Rob. That posture. My posture is horrible. Sup, Daisy. Let’s go a little faster Daisy. Are we racing? We racing. This is it. This is the slowest race ever in your life. First thing you want to do is take your feet
out of the stirrups. Okay. Then you’re going to lean forward, put your body
closer to the horses neck. You’re going to swing your leg up and over
the back. This is so awkward. Okay. That was not as graceful. As I wanted it to be in my brain. Rosebud, you are very graceful and very beautiful. And very patient. Thank you. Swing that way and slide straight down. Right behind ya. See. ‘Bout a 4. Thank you James. Wow. So SZA, we just did that. We did. You did so well. I felt a little goofy up there, I’m not gonna
lie to you. Why? You was mad smooth. Did this take you back to your childhood,
being 13? I thought you asked somebody, because I love
animals and horses so much. I really thought somebody told you to bring
me here. I want to get to your music business a little
bit. Yeah. When did you first really find the love for
music? Maybe very recently, like maybe with
this album. Not sure. So you’re saying all the way up until this
album, you didn’t really have a real love for music? It wasn’t something where I felt like if somebody
knocked me off I would get back into it. I was still having weird emotional experiences with it, and I couldn’t figure out how to be the kind of artist I wanted to be, and
sound how I wanted to sound. I couldn’t figure out how to begin to move
towards being as good as I wanted to be. And then with this album, I think somehow
I just got caught up. You know, I read a story about how you first
recorded. Somebody by the name of MNHATTN. MNHATTN’s my brother. He’s amazing. Do you remember the first song that you guys
did together? The first time that you recorded? It was like, “Where Do We Go” was the title
of the song. And I can’t sing it, ’cause it’s ridiculous. I
don’t know what I was talking about. When do you get to the name SZA? I want that story. It’s really not even a story. It just kind
of stumbled on me. ‘Cause you know, my name’s Solána. People
call me Sos for short. Sos comes from Sosa. Nobody could call me that at the time. Chief
Keef was blazing in the streets. It was weird for me to also be Sosa. SZA just kind of arrived at me. And then the Supreme Alphabet and everything
else that it meant. I love SZA. You know, it’s funny, in the promo leading
up to ‘Ctrl’ when there was a video, He breaks it down. And RZA, all of a sudden we hear RZA’s very distinct voice. Yes. I love his voice. Yo, peace and blessings. My name is the RZA, from the all mighty Wu-Tang
Clan. I’m zonin’ in with my home girl, SZA. Self/Savior, Zig-Zag-Zig, Allah. Yeah, I think you can take it that far mama. You know what I mean? It’s hard to believe that this is the debut
album, right? Because we’ve been listening to you for years. I think the cool kids always knew who SZA
was What? From See.SZA.Run. Damn. Those were such weird times. Just different times. I never thought that it would get here, or
go here. It was more fun then, cause I was just like,
“I don’t care.” See.SZA.Run and S, I made those the day before
I dropped those. I don’t know, this is different. I cared in a different way. I still don’t know how to make an album for
sure, but I’m chipping away. I love how your love for cinema comes out
and films come out in your records. Thank you. Like, you’ll name a song “Julia” or “Sweet
November” or “Green Mile” or even “Drew Barrymore.” I’m just trying to get into the mind of the
process of what … “Julia” is Julia Roberts, right? I love Julia Roberts. What made you want to name a song after Julia
Roberts? I just always connected to her. We have the exact same laugh. I can’t control, my laugh is so embarrassing
at times. It’s so loud when I’m really going off and
really happy. I used to love movies where I could see women
and they would play themselves. Or I felt like I would see them, like Drew
Barrymore the same kind of quirky belly laugh. I want to go back to “Drew Barrymore.” You performed the record on TV, and Drew gave
you love. Making her Late Night debut with the song
“Drew Barrymore” SZA. Thank you for playing SZA, who is so awesome. And I instagrammed me mouthing the words to her song. Another song from the album, and you’ve been
performing this one for a little bit Which one? “Go Gina.” Oh, I love “Go Gina.” I love “Go Gina.” Where’s the inspiration for “Go Gina” come
from? I don’t know, when I think about Gina on Martin,
I think about about her moves. She’s free, but she could be a little bit
more free. If Gina really let go and got on her Pam shit. I don’t know. I was just thinking about a
fire time with Gina. She has a big smile and big teeth, too. I think I always just gravitated toward people
that had dealt with things that I was very insecure about. You got a type. I know. You got a type. I feel like people that help me feel less
shy about myself, I just naturally gravitate towards. I wish Martin and Living Single were real. I wish I lived in both of their buildings,
so I could definitely go visit. I would have so much fun. I would kill to
be their friend. SZA’s just the neighbor. I just want to be the neighbor. You wrote and appeared on “Consideration”
with Rihanna. I did. First song on her album, it’s like the intro. It’s the first thing you hear, and it’s amazing. Is the process different when you’re collaborating
with others as opposed to when you’re working on your own SZA stuff? That song was on my album. I wrote the whole song. I just gave it to
her later on. I loved her. I loved that she loved it. I worked hard as shit on that song. Carter
and Ty made it from scratch. It was more like the first song that we ever
did as a group from this album that was arriving at something that we attempted to arrive at. Was it hard to let go? Yes. Or is it like, oh man, that’s Rihanna, look,
you can have it. I love Rihanna. It’s just, I wasn’t prepared to give that. It was moreso a lesson in letting go. A lot more people heard my words and
my voice than they ever would, whether they know it’s my song or not. It doesn’t matter. It’s my thoughts, my energy in the world. And I’m thankful for that. “Doves in the Wind” with Kendrick. Are these collaborations different now? Have they grown between you and Dot? I think our rapport and our relationship has
grown to where … Dot’s pretty consistent, so it’s moreso me. I would always overthink like, “Does he like me? What is he thinking? Am I annoying him?” I’d be scared to ask him to get on my album,
or to come onstage, or any of that. But it’s just a whole different thing now. He’s so beautifully human and very brave and
very calm and very respectful and very eloquent. He’s peaceful, he’s patient, and I trust him. I barely heard this verse before it was on
the album, and I just knew it was fire. And then when I heard it, it was fire. I’m like, “This shit is crazy.” Let’s talk a little bit more about this new
album, ‘Ctrl’. Uh-huh. What’s the central theme, what it’s about? Are you gaining control? Do you have control? Is there a lack of control? All of the above. How do we interpret this? All of the above. I have no control. There is no such thing
as control. And I’m chasing control. I’m craving control. I’m losing control. It’s a culmination of all these things, of
this word, of this concept, that’s just run my life for so long that’s just been very
obsessive. Even with this album getting lost and not
knowing that I took wild long to make it, is me being lost, trying to gain control over
my mind. And how can I hone in on this? How does this make me a better writer? Can I become a better writer? Like, “No, don’t put out an album until you’re
a better writer.” And the truth is, sometimes you just have
to let go. I’m sure if you just look at the string of
releases on TDE and the quality of work that they put out, that they would put something
out that was of lesser quality. So I feel like they have to believe in you
at some point. Is it you just letting go and be like, “Okay,
I trust my team and it’s ready and it’s time?” I feel like trust my team is about all the
things that don’t have to do with art. Or my personal creative thoughts. Cause that’s something where you accepting
your art and your work is something that only you can do. While I trust my team to tell me if it’s good
or not, I don’t know if I can trust anybody to tell me if it’s done or not. I don’t know if I can trust myself to tell
me if it’s done or not. I feel like that’s something you gotta pray
on, and just arrive when it’s right in your spirit, like when you’re comfortable. And who knows? I know ‘Ctrl’ is the new album, but I’d be remiss
if I didn’t ask about ‘A’. Mm-hmm Will we ever complete the trilogy? Is that still a thing that you plan to do? We got the ‘S’ mixtape, we got ‘Z’. Waiting on ‘A’. It’s not far. So we know… That’s already done. That’s not something I have to do. So you’re not gonna retire? Are you gonna leave us? That’s what I’m wondering. I just don’t want this thing to end, is what
I’m talking about. Aw, I appreciate you saying that. I just … I don’t know. I don’t know what I want. I don’t know who I am. And I think that journey is a lifelong thing
for everybody. And I’ve found myself a few different times
in my life, and I feel like some things I’ve stuck on. Like gymnastics carried me for 11, 12, 13
years, and that was something that really made sense to me. But when it didn’t, it just didn’t anymore. I don’t know. Music right now has the same hold on me that
gymnastics had on me. And dance, where it’s like, “I really like
this. I feel like I could be okay at this, I want
to try this.” But I also kind of feel like I want to … I
don’t know, I don’t know, I want to grow. So whatever that means. Just give us a song every once in a while,
that’s all we ask. Aw, thank you. We want to see you do everything, but SZA,
I really thank you for your time Thank you. and your energy. This has been so fun. I love your energy. I had the best day. Thank you for having me. You too. We out. We done. Yay.

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