New Jersey singer SZA is one of the most successful contemporary R’n’B singers of recent times. Her early EPs caught the attention of many record labels, and she has only continued to prosper since then. However, before she pursued her career as a solo artist, the vocalist desired to be part of an iconic rap collective.
In the early 2010s, SZA (real name Solána Rowe) released two solo extended plays, See.SZA.Run and S. However, during this period of her career, Rowe saw other R’n’B vocalists entering hip-hop collectives, one of which she was very keen to join.
Since acquiring solo success, SZA has revealed that between 2012 and 2013, she was determined to become part of Odd Future and even moved to Los Angeles to make it happen. In a recent interview, the Maplewood native discussed her journey from unknown to celebrity and all the tribulations that came with it.
During the candid, sit-down interview, Rowe revealed that while she was independent, she yearned for a place she could call home. From a record label to a collective or production house, she merely wanted a musical family. Speaking about her move to California, the vocalist unveiled, “Quiet as it’s kept, I wanted to be with, like, Odd Future.”
She continued, “I just loved their style, and their music was so fresh. They were just different in a good way.” While independent, Rowe released several tracks singing over Odd Future instrumentals, which fueled her desire to be a part of the group even more.
Rowe was attempting to connect with 4 Strikes Management, which managed Odd Future and Frank Ocean, hoping she would join the collective. However, while releasing music in LA, she caught the attention of another prominent manager. Terrence Louis Henderson Jr., better known as Punch of TDE.
During this period, Punch managed Kendrick Lamar and had just helped release the iconic Good Kid m.A.A.d City. Rowe formed a relationship with O’Punch, who happily signed her. In her interview with The New York Times, the vocalist unveiled, “Punch believed in me.”
Despite her prominence in the contemporary R’n’B space and various accolades, including a Grammy award, Rowe has yet to collaborate with a member of Odd Future. However, SZA’s last project, SOS, was a smash and remained atop the Billboard 200 for seven consecutive weeks. You can hear SZA talk about her love for Odd Future below.