SZA was not at a loss for words after being nominated for her first five Grammys. Instead, the Top Dawg Entertainment songstress shared a lengthy note, reflecting on her trajectory thus far and honoring those who helped her along the way.
The 27-year-old, who is the most nominated woman at the 2018 ceremony, began by recalling days when life was less glamorous. She says she pretended to be vegan because she couldn’t afford much more than “chips avocado n salad mix.” She went on to reveal that she was fired from every job she had, slept on couches, and even had to sell her “beloved 500$ grillz for 50 bucks at the gold shop for train fair.”
Then, SZA went over the insecurities that almost held her back while making her debut album, Ctrl, which is up for Best Contemporary Album at the 60th annual Grammys. “I BEGGED [TDE President Terrence “Punch” Henderson] for writers on this project cus I thought no one would ever like me the way I was,” she explained. “He said ‘U don’t need em’. I remember crying cus I didn’t have any hits or a quantifiable ‘sound’.. I remember feeling like damn maybe I suck . maybe I should try something else ? Maybe I’m jus wasting space ..Life’s weird.”
She continued: “I remember sobbing on the phone w punch pleading for the album not to come out cause I️ couldn’t take the embarrassment . Just wanted another week . Another day ?..he ignored me n said I’d be fine…This entire thing puts my wildest dreams to shame. I️ dunno what to say cause I️ dunno how to accept its even happening to me lol ? I’ve never won anything in my life even until this week (THANK YOU SOULTRAIN AWARDS!!) it all just feels strange somehow BUT IM SO OVERWHELMINGLY GRATEFUL FOR THIS STRANGENESS!!”
SZA went on to thank TDE CEO Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith and Punch for their unwavering support. She also paid tribute to RCA Records for giving her “new wings.” She then thanked God and the Recording Academy for the honor. “I’m so in awe of Gods plan,” she wrote. “I just wanna live up to it. Thank you for listening to me.. thank you for understanding me.. thank u for bonding w my thoughts just the way they were. INFINITE GRATITUDE to the Recording Academy for this INCREDIBLE honor. I️ can’t even believe I’ve been considered.”
SZA is up for five Grammys, including Best New Artist, Best R&B Performance (“The Weekend”), Best R&B Song (“Supermodel”), Best Urban Contemporary Album (Ctrl), and Best Rap/Sung Performance (“Love Galore” featuring Travis Scott). Her TDE labelmate Kendrick Lamar earned the night’s second-most nominations with seven, just one shy of JAY-Z.
I️ never really thought this would possible for me ..sometimes u get told no a lot or ur not good enough or ur not the “type” n U start to believe it…THANK U EVERY SINGLE PERSON THATS EVER TAKEN A CHANCE ON ME OR BELIEVED AT ALL .I️ LOVE YOU.. specially my Mama.#TDE pic.twitter.com/fkirMXWABf
— SZA (@sza) November 29, 2017
Taking to Twitter, SZA also revealed a text message from her mother that read: “Not 1 but 5 nominations and the most of any female this year. You’re so incredible and God is so gracious. He has made you worthy, so own it with grace and humility.” When she asked her mom if she believes she’ll win, her mother delivered some sage advice: “You must realize that you have ALREADY won.”
Before the Grammys air on Jan. 28, SZA will take the stage as musical guest on “SNL” on Dec. 9.