HIIIGH WITH TDE'S FIRST LADY, SZA [INTERVIEW]
Photo by Jamie Sands
Kassandra Pia: You’re in Vancouver at Fortune Sound tonight, and about to play the Made In America festival this weekend. With one being a more intimate crowd and the other being so huge, where do you feel the most comfortable?
SZA: I think, somewhere in between. For a long time I was only comfortable with smaller crowds. Once I fell into a groove, like at Afropunk I fell into, like, how to connect with the crowd and how to come outside myself and do me and just vibe, you know?
Kassandra Pia: So, is it just about the people in the front row for you?
SZA: Ya, exactly. But with a big festival, like Pitchfork Festival, you just gotta get in your own shit.
Kassandra Pia: I’m sure you get asked my next question a lot…
SZA: Wait, spark that shit while we talk...
Kassandra Pia: Pass the lighter. So, being the only singer and the first lady of TDE, how do you hold your own and stay grounded in a male dominated environment?
SZA: Ya, I have to learn myself. It was very scary at first, I’m very sensitive. I’m either inwardly angry or on a rampage to fuck shit up. So, dealing with them, they’re guys so we argue like everybody else, but we’re family.
Kassandra Pia: What kind of influence does your team have on you?
SZA: You know what’s wild, I respect everyone for completely different reasons. I respect Kendrick for his work ethic, Isaiah for his spontaneity – also he has great melodies, Soul for his philosophies, Jay Rock for his kindness, warmness, respect and Q for his “I don’t give a fuck. It is what it is” – I respect that. I look at everybody for different things.
Kassandra Pia: What is your earliest music memory?
SZA: Sitting at the kitchen table with my Dad eating oatmeal listening to John Coltrane “Love Supreme”.
Kassandra Pia: What are you currently listening to?
SZA: I don’t really listen to music. It’s weird. My Spotify account expired and I haven’t gotten a new one. Well, I listen to Little Dragon, their last album.
Kassandra Pia: What would you be doing if you weren’t making music?
Kassandra Pia: Really? Like, an office job?
SZA: I have this thing where I wanted to live this life where I live in a little log cabin, furnished with Organic Modernism with my short haired collie, and my trilingual fuckin’ children and my husband is an architect type shit. Sometimes I still want that but other times it’s like, I just gotta be me.
Kassandra Pia: You’d fit in here.
SZA: I might move here.
Kassandra Pia: You seem like a very chill, low-key girl...
SZA: I find more joy in like, the beauty of God’s creations. I get brought to tears super easy especially if it’s something God created. Even just noticing like, people don’t know about the world. You know how many people don’t know what Vancouver looks like? They’ve never thought to look it up or no one every told them about it. You can start to get stuck in your own little vacuum and it fucks your brain up. You don’t have a realistic sense of beauty.
Kassandra Pia: What was the last thing that made you cry?
SZA: There’s this cove in Palos Verde, California. I never saw water so blue and clear. I realized like, my whole life is not real. It’s so much more beautiful than I even think it is. I just went to Mexico and lived in a tree house…that shit was crazy.
Kassandra Pia: There’s a place on Vancouver Island where you can camp in a pod in the trees. I feel like you would love it.
SZA: I have to check it out.
Kassandra Pia: What was the last thing that made you happy?
SZA: I have no idea. Probably that same day in Palos Verde a couple months ago. I swam out so far. I just challenged myself and swam over to these mini islands.
Kassandra Pia: Do you have any words for your Canadian fans?
SZA: I wanna get to know you guys. This place is so ill to me, I really want to grow roots here.
Kassandra Pia: Come back anytime, girl.