SZA Calls Grammys a “thirsty, dark space” 

SZA, the talented American singer-songwriter, has once again made headlines with her candid remarks about the Grammy Awards. In a recent interview, SZA didn’t hold back when it came to expressing her feelings about the Grammy Awards. The acclaimed artist, known for hits like ‘SOS,’ didn’t mince her words, describing the prestigious music ceremony as a “thirsty, dark space.”

SZA’s relationship with the Grammys has been a topic of discussion for several years. Her frustration with the Grammys can be traced back to the 2018 awards ceremony, where she found herself nominated for five awards following the release of her debut album, ‘Ctrl,’ in 2017. Among these nominations were coveted categories like ‘Best New Artist’ and ‘Best Urban Contemporary Album.’ Unfortunately, the night ended in disappointment as she walked away empty-handed.

Image Courtesy: GQ

Carter Lang, who worked as a producer and co-writer on the album, shared in SZA’s pain, remembering the moment when she had to perform despite losing all her nominations. 

“That’s weird that that happened to me on TV,” SZA reflected. “That night, right before I lost the last two, Tyler [The Creator] was like, ‘Nah, it would be so f*****g weird if you lost everything and they asked you to perform. That’d be so terrible, don’t even worry.’ Child, when I lost that last one…” 

Image Courtesy: Hollywood Reporter

SZA’s frustration with the Grammys goes beyond her own experience. She believes that the awards show sometimes prioritizes commercial success over artistic merit. This sentiment is not unique to her, as many artists have previously criticized the Grammys for allegedly favouring mainstream, chart-topping acts while overlooking innovative and groundbreaking music.

She further described the Grammy Awards as “not normal,” emphasizing her dislike for how some individuals act like everything about the awards show is ordinary and unproblematic. SZA noted that the Grammy room itself has a peculiar atmosphere, with a palpable sense of want and desire. People in the room yearn for attention, acknowledgment, victory, and the simple act of being in the presence of their peers. It’s a place where artists strive for something, and it carries significance, even though it’s not everything.

Image Courtesy: Boardroom

In her own words, SZA described the Grammy Awards as “like a thirsty, dark space.” Despite her critique of the Grammys, SZA did find joy in the 2022 Grammy Awards as she cheered on fellow artists like Beyoncé, Lizzo, Bad Bunny and Steve Lacy. Additionally, she and Doja Cat secured the ‘Best Pop Duo/Group’ performance award for their collaboration on ‘Kiss Me More,’. Her song ‘Good Days’ also received a nomination in the ‘Best R&B Song’ category.

Looking ahead, SZA’s talents continue to be recognized in the music industry. She has earned six nominations for the 2023 MTV EMAs, including ‘Best US Act,’ ‘Best R&B,’ and ‘Best Live.’ This shows her ongoing impact and success in the music world, reaffirming her position as a respected artist despite her experiences with the Grammy Awards. 

-Britney Jones