One foot on Saturn, one in the gold: insatiable SZA

One foot on Saturn, one in the gold: insatiable SZA

There is a fire to be stoked, a metaphor for success: woe betide it if it goes out. After all, SZA spent a decade trying to set it on fire and now she has to guard it jealously, as if she were a vestal virgin. The reference to Roman mythology is unwanted and an end in itself: Vesta was the goddess with whom the cult of the domestic hearth and the state hearth was closely associated, daughter – according to legend – of Saturn. That Saturn that gave its name to the planet of the same name on which the 34-year-old American r&b star dreams of running away, in search of something new: Why “

there must be more” in addition to the millions of streams on the platforms, the platinum discs, the records, as she sings in “Saturn”.

The single, just released, opens the new course of the career of what is considered the brightest star of new American black musicreturned home from the last Grammy Awards, earlier this month, with three statuettes held in arms: SZA won the award as Best Pop Duo/Group performance with “Ghost in the machine” together with Phoebe Bridgers, the award as Best progressive r&b album with his “SOS” e Best r&b Song with “Snooze”. The three statuettes were added to a list of awards that already included a Grammy Award (the one won last year with “Kiss me more” with colleague Doja Cat as Best Pop Duo/Group performance), an American Music Award, five Bet Awards, two Billboard Music Awards, three MTV Video Music Awards (the last one he won last September with “Shirt” as Best r&b song). Evidently too little to sit on our laurels.

“Saturn” anticipates the release of a new album, “Wool”. Del Rey has nothing to do with it: the title is the diminutive of her real name, Solána Imani Rowe (her stage name is read “siza”: “Z” stands for Zig Zag, and she has never explained what it means; “A ” stands for Allah, a reference to his Muslim origins; “S” stands for “savior”). On paper it would be a reissue of “SOS”, which it was one of the most acclaimed albums by American critics among those released in the last seasonwith those r&b sounds that wink at the atmospheres and sounds of American black music from the early 2000s, allowing the singer-songwriter – originally from St.

Louis, Missouri – to fill a void, in a market saturated with glossy and well-packaged ultrapop proposals: “.I don’t know if chasing superstar status is sustainable for me. I hate the bureaucratic aspect of releasing a project. It’s stressful”. In fact, “Lana” is to all intents and purposes a new album: there will be about ten new songs inside. Not exactly new, because some of these have already been performed live by SZA at some events and showcases, from “Saturn” herself to the duet with Lizzo on “Boy from South Detroit”, passing through “Psa” and “Od/ Diamond boy”.

In “SOS” the singer-songwriter was inspired on the one hand by the disappointments of love, on the other by the pressures that crushed her (on the cover she paid homage to Princess Diana: the image, which immortalizes SZA sitting on a trampoline, surrounded by the sea, takes up a photo that a paparazzo took of the princess in Portofino, in 1997, on Mohamed Al Fayed’s yacht, a week before her tragic death). “Lana” should represent the continuation of the story: “I will always do what I want to do, to feel free”, she promised, before reaching superstar status. Did she keep her promise?