Everything To Know About SZA, Who Just Announced An Australian Tour

Including how to pronounce her name.
Image: Getty

If you haven’t been living under a rock, you’ll probably have heard about SZA, who has been quietly (but now, loudly) making her way up the music rankings over the last few years.

She released her first studio album Ctrl in 2017 through RCA Records and was nominated for a series of Grammys, but her music really broke through in 2020, with hit ‘Good Days’ released on streaming platforms as a single that went viral.

Between releasing Ctrl and her second album, SZA built her chops with a series of high-profile collaborations.

One of the most popular was Doja Cat’s TikTok viral track ‘Kiss Me More’, which broke the record for the longest-running all-female collaboration in the US Top 10 and won her a Grammy for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance.

Image: Getty

She’s collaborated with The Weeknd, Travis Scott, DJ Khaled, Cardi B, Lorde, Post Malone, Rihanna, Kendrick Lamar, Nicki Minaj, Justin Timberlake and Megan Thee Stallion, just to name a few (of the biggest names in the business).

Big things were ramping up for SZA, and she excelled with the release of her sophomore album SOS, released on December 9, 2022. The album spent its first seven weeks at the top of the Billboard 200 Albums Chart, earning its place as first R&B album to spend its first seven weeks atop the chart since Whitney Houston’s Whitney in 1987.

Her success was noted by the Recording Academy, with SZA winning three Grammys for ‘Best R&B Song’ with ‘Snooze’, ‘Best Progressive R&B Album’ with ‘SOS’ and ‘Best Pop Duo/Group Performance’ for the second time, this time with ‘Ghost In The Machine feat. Phoebe Bridgers’.

Alongside her Grammys, she was nominated a further six times for ‘Song of the Year’, ‘Best Melodic Rap Performance’, ‘Best Traditional R&B Performance’, ‘Album of the Year’, ‘Best R&B Performance’ and ‘Record of the Year’.

So, who is the woman behind the music and the mysterious all-caps name? Here we dive into how this star was born.  

What Is SZA’s Real Name?

While we know and love her as SZA, her real name is Solána Imani Rowe. She was born on November 8, 1989, making her a Scorpio.

How Do You Pronounce SZA And What Does It Mean?x

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While SZA isn’t her real name, it is pronounced like ‘scissor’ or ‘sizza’, with a slightly more ‘a’ sound at the end.

SZA explained her name in a 2018 interview, saying it’s based on the Islam supreme alphabet. S stands for Sovereign or Self, Saviour, the Z stands for Zig-Zag-Zig, which is enlightenment and acknowledgement of one’s self and the A stands for the most high of all, a reference to Allah.

She also said in another interview that her friends called her Sosa, but then that name was claimed by Chief Keef who became synonymous with it. So SZA eventually settled on her new moniker.

Many fans have also commented that it’s quite similar to RZA from the Wu Tang Clan.

How Did SZA Grow Up?

SZA was born in St Louis, Missouri but was actually raised in New Jersey. SZA’s father was an executive producer at CNN and her mother was an executive at telecommunications company AT&T.

She grew up with siblings, a half-sister Panya Jamila and an older brother Daniel, who is actually a rapper that goes by the name Manhattan.

Her mother is Christian, and her father is Muslim, with SZA attending a Muslim prep school and then Columbia High School in New Jersey, eventually studying marine biology at Delaware State University, before dropping out in the final semester.

Does SZA Have A Boyfriend? Her Dating History

We all know SZA sings about heartbreak and love in her music, so you might be interested to know about her dating life.

2023: There were rumours that SZA was dating Travis Scott after performing with him on stage where they appeared close. She also was in the music video for Scott’s song ‘K-POP’ feat. Bad Bunny and The Weeknd.

2022: When SZA’s viral song ‘Kill Bill’ came out, a fan tweeted a photo of SZA with Bill Nye, saying that was who the song was about, which was untrue and got a chuckle from the star. “o hell .. yall gotta go to hell,” she tweeted in response alongside crying emojis.

2017: In a 2023 interview, SZA said that she was in a relationship with a fashion designer for 11 years, engaged for five of them, and then “unengaged” five or six years ago. Fans believe this could be 10Deep’s Scott Sasso, but this has not been confirmed.

2009: SZA revealed in 2020 that she dated Drake back in 2009. She divulged this as in Drake’s song ‘Mr Right’ he refers to dating SZA back in ‘08’ and she corrected, saying it was ’09. “It was actually 2009 lol…I just didn’t want anybody thinking anything underage or creepy was happening. Completely innocent. Lifetimes ago.”

Does SZA Have Children?

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SZA does not have any children yet, however in a 2022 interview with Complex she did say that she wants them soon. The then 32-year-old said, “I do wanna have kids. Like really soon.”

She continued, “But I don’t have a necessity for a family unit as much as I really would love kids. And it’s not even like I’m trying to do anything that’s ground-breaking or non-traditional or like, modern woman. I just literally feel like it’s less stressful to think about like, ‘Who’s it gonna be? Are they trustworthy? Is this person going to really love me? Is this partner material?’ Versus being like, OK, this is the doctor I know I want to deliver my kids.”

Is SZA Coming To Australia In 2024?

On February 8, 2024, SZA announced that she will be touring Australia. The singer has become very popular down under, clinching three spots in the acclaimed triple J ‘Hottest 100’. She’ll be performing on the following dates:

  • Brisbane, Friday April 19
  • Sydney, Tuesday April 23
  • Sydney, Wednesday April 24
  • Melbourne, Monday April 29
  • Melbourne, Tuesday April 30

Has SZA Written Songs For Other Artists?

Yes! SZA is known for her deep lyrics and brilliant song writing style, and actually helped write the hit song ‘Feeling Myself’, sung by Nicky Minaj and Beyoncé.  

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