SZA might be on top of R&B right now, but that didn’t come without some obstacles. The SOS singer recently went into depth about her early frustrations with TDE in a new interview with Billboard.

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She said that she didn’t mind being signed to the rap-heavy label, saying that she felt like she was always “the first to do something.”

“I didn’t mind the lack of female artists. I just felt like I was always the first to do something, and that was frustrating. It was me telling y’all I need hair and makeup because I’m super hands-on, on top of being a woman. I’m making PowerPoints trying to explain why I want to be in this type of publication versus that type of publication.”


She went on to say how both her and TDE grew in the process because neither one of them had done something like this before, which pushed them to become “randomly innovative.”

“It was tough,” she recalled. “But by the same token, I think all of us grew together at the same time. They never had to do anything like this before, and we were all being so randomly innovative together by trying to figure out what makes sense. And I also liked that they weren’t trying to clean me up and look like anybody else.”

She added that creatively, they let SZA do her thing. “They were just taking me as I was. That was really priceless, just to express myself visually how I wanted to and without the judgment of “Let’s make her pretty or sparkly and shiny and sterile.”