After giving fans a scare last year by announcing she’d quit music following the delay of her debut album, things seemed to have finally come together for SZA as, last week, she confirmed its release and title via a performance of lead single “Drew Barrymore” on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Now, as if aware of how impatient we all were, SZA is making fans wait less than a month until we can hear CTRL in its totality. According to the singer, the album will drop February 3, a popular date that will also see the releases of Big Sean and Sampha.

More than that, she’s shared details with Billboard about the experiences that have shaped its sound.


Rihanna doesn’t give a f— about anyone around her. She’s in her own space at all times. But she’s not rude — she’s comfortable. As a shy person, that was something cool to witness.

Rick Rubin

I had this mentality that ‘more is more’ — more reverb, more background [vocals]. I played him a bunch of songs, and he would tell me, ‘The more you take away from any piece, the more room you create for everything else to be beautiful and grow.’ I never felt that before, the editing urge. Once you strip everything down, you’re forced to say something.

Her Own Voice

One time I met my boyfriend’s boss and he said, ‘Let’s see what this music is about.’ I don’t listen to my music on my own, and when I pressed ‘play,’ my voice was so quiet! There were no emotional moments. It felt boring. I was like, ‘OK, I need to exercise in letting go.’”