‘My voice is not permanently damaged’ says R&B star SZA

After fearing she may never sing again, Grammy nominated neo soul star SZA has revealed her voice is on the mend.

SZA (pronounced “Sizzah”) was forced last month to cancel a series of gigs and take an immediate, and indefinite, career break after 11 months of touring took its toll.

“I’ve been troubleshooting for a while now and usually steroids and pushing through help. They don’t this time,” she said in an emotive Tweet.

“I’m not sick; my voice just won’t f***ing work. If I don’t pause now I’ll be forced to pause permanently.”

The problem was said to be swollen vocal cords and doctors ordered her to rest or risk permanent damage.

But it appears SZA is now feeling more confident about the situation. At the weekend she Tweeted: “I’m blessed to say my voice is not permanently damaged and I’ve been working daily to get back. Slowly but surely.”

She thanked the team of doctors and vocal technicians who have helped her address the problem.

SZA is a larger-than-life character, a complicated mix of vulnerability and swagger known for her sky-high falsetto and outspoken views. She’s spoken about battling depression and the abuse she received growing up in the predominantly white neighbourhood of Maplewood, New Jersey. SZA, whose father is Muslim, wore a hijab for many years and was was bullied mercilessly for it. She stopped wearing it altogether after the September 11 attacks.

She told Rolling Stone she took up music because it was “just one thing I didn’t suck at”. Although this isn’t entirely true: SZA was also a top national gymnast before she decided to pursue music.

She began experimenting sonically with her brother, also a keen muso. She dropped out of college and worked in bars and strip clubs to support herself while releasing her own music. She was signed in 2013 by Top Dawg Entertainment, Kendrick Lamar’s label, and last year released the album CTRL. It debuted at No. 3 on the charts and went platinum.

 

She also collaborated with Kendrick Lamar on All The Stars, a hit track from the soundtrack from the hit action film Black Panther.