Smoke Signals

Empowering Women And Earning Accolades

Courtesy+of+Billboard
Courtesy of Billboard

Courtesy of Billboard

Courtesy of Billboard

Danielle Perea, Staff Writer

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   At the NAACP Image Awards held on January 15, female R&B artist SZA won Outstanding New Artist award for her debut studio album, Ctrl. The NAACP Image Awards, held this year on MLK Day for the first time since 1994, honors the achievements of people of color in film, music, and literature.

  SZA, whose real name is Solána Rowe, released her debut EP See.SZA.Run in 2012, and Ctrl followed on June 9 last year. In an interview with Vogue, Rowe explained how she came across a psychic shop in LA where an energy reader told her that her purpose on Earth is to empower women.

  By winning an award at the NAACP awards, SZA could be closer to fulfilling her purpose as told to her by the energy reader. Stephanie Lymon (9), a major fan of SZA’s music, explained, “Seeing SZA getting this award makes me excited to hear new music from her. Seeing her, an African American like myself, motivates me because I feel represented in the media. She’s already empowering women of color by showing us that we can do whatever we put our minds to.”

  Lymon also added that since SZA’s songs focus on societal the expectations of women, getting the Outstanding New Artist award might be more motivation to build women up instead of tearing them down, which is how Lymon feels some other female artists do.

  Nikai Miller (11), another fan, thinks SZA is already impressive, being the only female artist on the Top Dawg Entertainment label. Miller added, “I’ve listened to SZA’s music way before she made it big this year and I truly feel that she is one of this generation’s upcoming R&B artists.” He then reasoned that SZA’s music could be described in one word: ‘sultry’, due to provocative themes in Ctrl.

  Receiving this award displays growth of Rowe’s career and how this is just the beginning for her. But her time in the spotlight may not be as long as fans would like. A tweet from her last year showed this when she stated, “I actually quit. @iamstillpunch can release my album if he ever feels like it.” Rowe may quit music to pursue different interests instead, but whether or not she continues her musical journey is up to the future.

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Danielle Perea, Staff Writer

Danielle Perea is a Staff Writer for Smoke Signals. She enjoys music, playing the tenor saxophone, and chillin with her homie (her pet guinea pig.)

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Empowering Women And Earning Accolades