“And Nova,” the honoree echoed. “Thank you to Nova for bringing me joy and teaching me childlike wonder and reminding me what it’s like to not know what is going on and still be happy anyway,” the artist improvised, inciting giggles from the audience.
SZA built a following in the underground music scene by making fan favorites like “Babylon” and “Child’s Play.” However, some critics claimed her tunes weren’t radio-friendly.
“I just think it’s really ironic that I’m considered a hitmaker because punching up for so long, the whole conversation was, ‘I don’t make radio music. I don’t have any radio hits. I don’t have a sound.’ I realized the biggest thank you is to those who saw me as a hitmaker before that,” said the “All The Stars” singer. “To all my fans that listened to me before I ever went number one or anything like that.”
— Variety (@Variety) December 2, 2023
SZA then explained how her definition of a hitmaker wasn’t in the traditional sense.
“I really feel like being a hitmaker is just having other people, the public, believe what God and your inner circle that you’ve been blessed to have around you already sees in you. And I’m grateful to have an exceptional inner circle.”
She continued, “Thank you for taking the time to break it down for me and just give me patience and encourage me to believe that, ‘It’s okay. There will be a time for you to do your thing and they’ll play you one day. And that day did come. And I’m so grateful.”
Aswad told the audience, “It’s very rare for an album to top the charts, the critics’ polls, and win people’s hearts the way SZA’s album, SOS, has done. She was our first choice for Hitmaker of the Year.”
The 34-year-old has been making waves since her debut album Ctrl in 2017. After the release of her highly anticipated sophomore album, SOS, she solidified herself as a chart-topping artist. The Grammy winner has smashed not only Whitney Houston’s records but the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin’s. In addition, SZA — born Solana Rowe — has had the longest-running No. 1 song on the Billboard Top R&B charts.
In addition, Variety’s honoree earned nine Grammy nominations for the 2024 ceremony — more than any other artist. The noms were a magical way to end her tour, which has received stellar reviews. Fans spoke glowingly about the signer’s delivery and stage presence.
SZA’s Next Album Is Already In The Pipeline
Solana plans to release a deluxe version of SOS titled Lana that will only expand her reach and impact. The “Broken Clocks” singer admits she is unclear about the exact direction of the album. Like many Beyhivers, she asks, “What would Beyonce do?” when she’s in a jam.
“It’s definitely turning into its own album… and I guess I could drop a new album randomly, because no one’s actually expecting that from me right now,” she told the publication. “But I can’t tell if now’s the time to be consistent, or carefree.”
On the one hand it’s like, ‘What would Beyonce do?,’ but I am also deeply inspired by people who do whatever the f**k they want, like Frank Ocean and Andre 3000. Some of my favorite songs were the ones that I dropped on SoundCloud [early in her career], because it was so stress free.”
If you missed her tour (and you’re willing to take a trip over the pond), no worries! The highly decorated Artist has a second European tour leg for “SOS” in the works.
The “Conceited” singer’s 2023 has been stellar, and her 2024 is set to be just as amazing.
SZA once said, “I’m bettin on me,” and it is undoubtedly paying off.