Known as SZA, alternative R&B artist Solana Rowe grew up listening to classic and avant-garde jazz ranging from Billie Holiday to John Coltrane, alternative artists including Björk, and rap, most notably Wu-Tang Clan, whose RZA inspired her performing name. During 2012 and 2013, she released her first two EPs, See.SZA.Run and S, which formed a dreamy, alluring, occasionally unorthodox introduction. Rowe subsequently signed to Top Dawg, home to the likes of Kendrick Lamar and Ab-Soul. A fantasy-like video for the S EP's "Ice Moon" was released in November 2013, and additional exposure came shortly thereafter through "His & Her Friend," off labelmate ScHoolboy Q's Oxymoron. The digital-only Z, a trippy ten-track set with assists from Lamar, Chance the Rapper, and Isaiah Rashad, arrived in April 2014 and entered the Billboard 200 at number 39. Appearances on a string of well over a dozen tracks -- Travis Scott's "OK Alright," Rihanna's "Consideration," and Lamar's "Untitled 04 | 08.14.2014" among them -- followed in 2015 and 2016. Signed to major-label RCA, Rowe released the less inhibited Ctrl in June 2017, featuring collaborations with Pharrell Williams, Frank Dukes, and Top Dawg regular Tyran Donaldson (aka the Antydote and Scum). The album debuted at number three on the Billboard 200. ~ Andy Kellman
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R&B - Released June 11, 2017 | Top Dawg Entertainment - RCA Records
Hi-Res Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
If Kendrick Lamar, Travis Scott, James Fauntleroy and Isaiah Rashad all crop up on a debut album, it is surely at least worth a listen. Especially if it has been brought out by Top Dawg Entertainment... This record from Solána Row aka SZA has been eagerly-awaited. Signed to TDA for some years, the most exciting R&B singer in the rap'n'soul world today has released a pretty-much-perfect studio album. Alternating between a sensual languor and grooves that float on air, CTRL also possesses an addictive freshness. A real revelation. © MD/Qobuz
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