Over the last calendar year, the artist known as SZA has gone from an emerging name within the urban singer-songwriter ranks to becoming one of the biggest in-demand pop stars in American music. Since her debut CTRL album arrived via Top Dawg back on June 9 of last year, Solána Rowe, as it reads on her driver’s license, has performed and promoted the studio project extensively. So much so that the singer initially thought that she had permanent vocal damage when it was announced that she’d be taking a leave of absence from the Top Dawg Championship Tour earlier this spring.
On Sunday night, however, SZA was all smiles and undeterred optimism as she took the stage to accept the award for “Best New Artist” at the BET Awards, which took place at Los Angeles’ Microsoft Theater. Following her whirlwind of a breakout year, SZA beat out Goldlink, H.E.R., A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie and Daniel Caesar to win “Best New Artist,” and she wasn’t shy about sharing some advice for aspiring performers who hope to be standing in her spot atop the podium at next year’s BET Awards in her acceptance speech.
“I know they cut people off when they do stuff like this,” a beaming SZA can be heard saying in her short speech via the video below. “But I just wanted to say to anyone that’s watching and [anyone who’s] in school or just like in the world, lost or feeling like they don’t really know what their purpose is - just follow your passion, ignore everyone, try to stay in gratitude it’ll make the wack stuff feel better, and I dunno, just believe in yourself cause I didn’t even believe in myself and things like this happen to me so it could happen to anyone.”
The grateful and inspiring rhetoric comes just a few days after the singer shared a string of tweets in gratitude of “the incredible team of Doctors and vocal technicians” who took care of her while on tour to get that golden voice back of her back up to running speed.
The T.D.E. Championship Tour came to an end just last week, which is perfect in giving SZA and her vocal muscles the rest that she needs before taking the stage to help to headline the InCuya Music Festival in Cleveland one month from today (Aug. 25). Tickets to the two-day music event are on sale now and can be purchased by clicking here.