SZA Did It Again
September 17, 2020
Photo Credit: SZA[@sza][Instagram Photo]
Published in The Catalyst Newspaper 2020
Patience is a virtue they say. After waiting three years for music, fans go crazy over SZA’s new song, “Hit Different” featuring Ty Dolla Sign, which was released on September 4th.
As heard in her earlier work, SZA’s music touches on expressing unwanted feelings and vulnerability at its finest, but boy does she make it sound angelic. There seems to be an ongoing struggle between leaving somebody or listening to your heart and going back to your partner. She shares a common feeling amongst a lot of females of not wanting to be alone, even if that means going through the same mess with a lover repeatedly.
In her last album released in 2017, CTRL, SZA carefully crafted fourteen songs that share her journey of not seeing the beauty in herself and counting on someone else to, as heard in the first song “Supermodel,” to being upset with herself for wasting her time looking for validation from others in her last song “20 Something.”
There is a huge parallel in her new song “Hit Different” with CTRL’s “Drew Barrymore” because of her consistent reference of being lonely and how she feels as if she is not good enough for someone. “Hit Different” featuring Ty Dolla Sign shares how SZA’s qualities, which she referred to as “shortcomings,” are the reason she does not have a lover anymore. Then she shifts the tempo of the song to talk about how she cannot stop thinking about her time wasted on trying to get the other person to see the best in her. At some point, she feels as if they can still be together and makes references to using her sexuality to drive them back to her.
SZA is well equipped in making her unwelcoming feelings, to say the least, sound incredible by the use of her vocals and visuals. The music video encompasses different versions of her qualities shown in the color of her clothes. In the first three minutes and fifteen seconds, there were a lot of references to the elements of nature: water, fire, and air. As the music dies down and switches to a softer tempo, SZA is dressed in brown and surrounded by wood, which relates to earth. She begins to share her honest and down to earth feelings, corresponding to the scenery.
But we cannot forget to talk about Ty Dolla Sign’s chorus. He is known to record R&B music with a multitude of different artists like Kehlani, Big Sean, Jacquees, and many more, which he contributed to more than just a few seconds of lyrics to. In the song, “Hit Different,” Ty Dolla Sign just sang the chorus and appeared in a few seconds of the video. With such lack of presence, SZA could have just sung the song alone and it would have still been a hit.
Overall, SZA and Ty Dolla Sign did an amazing job. SZA continues to fluently express her feelings in a relatable sense for people to understand and use visuals in correspondence to the theme of her music.