In a recent cover interview with Rolling Stone, SZA didn’t mince her words when talking about her Grammy Awards experience, branding the ceremony a “thirsty, dark space.” Reflecting on the 2018 Grammys, where she lost all five nominations, including ‘Best New Artist’ and ‘Best Urban Contemporary Album’ for her debut record ‘Ctrl,’ she shared her raw emotions. Carter Lang, a producer and co-writer on the album, empathized with SZA’s pain, recalling the moment when she had to perform after losing her awards.
That’s weird that that happened to me on TV. That night, right before I lost the last two, Tyler [The Creator] was like, ‘Nah, it would be so fucking 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…SZA
SZA criticized the Grammys, highlighting how abnormal the atmosphere is. “The Grammy room is one of the weirdest rooms ever. There is so much wanting in there,” she shared. “Wanting to be noticed, wanting to be acknowledged, to win, wanting to just be amongst people in the room, wanting to feel valuable or validated.”
Despite her negative experience, SZA found joy in celebrating her peers at the 2022 Grammys, cheering for artists like Beyoncé, Lizzo, Bad Bunny, and Steve Lacy. Last year, SZA and Doja Cat clinched the ‘Best Pop Duo/Group Performance’ award for their collaboration ‘Kiss Me More,’ while her song ‘Good Days’ was nominated for ‘Best R&B Song.’
SZA, however, has moved past this disappointment, referring to the 2018 snub as “old energy.” Looking forward, she’s earned six nominations for the 2023 MTV EMAs, including ‘Best US Act,’ ‘Best R&B,’ and ‘Best Live.’ Despite the challenges, SZA’s talent continues to shine, proving that her worth goes far beyond any award show recognition.