SZA's Artistic Growth: From Breakout Star to Global Phenomenon


Dec. 9 2023, Published 8:12 p.m. ET

Step into the world of Solána Imani Rowe, known to the music scene as SZA, and you will find an artist whose growth echoes the rhythm of her hometown, St. Louis. From the local block to the global stage, SZA's journey is marked by grit, authenticity, and an unapologetic embrace of her evolving sound.

Humble Beginnings: Debut and Early Days

In the early days, SZA's music was like a secret shared among those who stumbled upon it. Her 2012 debut, "See.SZA.Run," set the stage for what would become an awe-inspiring journey. Initially, her unique blend of R&B, soul, and a touch of alternative did not cause an instant stir. Instead, it marinated until it gradually reached the ears of listeners hungry for something different.

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SZA's accomplishments reflect those days in 2023. Salon gives her props, saying, "SZA went from an underground cult artist to a pop star through her artistry existing outside of the box that the industry puts Black female artists in."

In the initial phase, SZA began to discover her voice. This is when she experimented, made mistakes, and figured out the perfect notes in music and telling stories from her distinct point of view. The vibe was like a testing ground where she honed her expression.

Milestones and Evolution: SZA's Impactful Songs

Fast forward to the present, and SZA is not just a name. She is a phenomenon. Neon Music, in their insightful piece on SZA's evolution, points to 15 influential songs of hers that have reshaped R&B. From "Love Galore" to "The Weekend," each track is a chapter in SZA's narrative, a demo of her artistic growth.

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SZA sings songs of love that relate to identity, sexuality, and a woman's feelings with every note. Take "Drew Barrymore," for instance as noted by The Communicator, where she bares her soul, admitting, "I'm sorry I'm not more attractive. I'm sorry I'm not more ladylike. I'm sorry I don't shave my legs at night."

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SZA writes music that is so deep that it feels like a diary. Her music is raw and unfiltered, something people can read and see themselves in, which elevates her music beyond the realm of mere entertainment. SZA's songs become mirrors, reflecting the complexities of life and relationships back to her audience. In doing so, she transforms into a voice for a generation navigating the nuances of modern love and self-discovery.

Global Phenomenon: SZA as the Artist of the Year

In 2023, SZA was named Artist of the Year, a title she did not chase but totally deserves. Salon's recent feature dives into her impact on music, calling her a force of nature. Now, the global stage is her playground, and fans worldwide connect with her tunes.

SZA's success is not just about charts, It is about the lives touched by her art. From the kid on the block who first heard her music to the international fan connecting through the universal language of emotions, SZA has become a symbol of authenticity.

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SZA started from the neighborhood and now she's a big deal worldwide, proving that being yourself is powerful. Her growth as an artist reflects what today's generation likes and wants. From starting small to hitting big milestones and getting noticed globally, SZA is not just an artist anymore. She is a storyteller whose tales touch people's hearts. As she keeps shaping R&B, everyone's curious about the new tracks she will bring to her musical diary in the years ahead.

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