SZA has discussed the impact the spotlight and pressures placed upon her as an artist have on her mental health, during an interview as part of the Community Voices series for Mental Health Awareness Month.
During the 100th episode of the series, SZA discussed the toxic nature of social media. Specifically referencing online trolls, she said it was difficult when negative comments matched up to her own insecurities.
“It’s weird sometimes, when your personal thoughts and feelings align with some of the things people say about you,” she said. “It’s hard not to fall into that weird hole of self-loathing.”
SZA elaborated on the “exhaustion” that came from working within the music industry, specifically referencing the “pressure of dropping another album” and making sure her deals “make sense”. The singer’s last record was 2017’s ‘Ctrl’.
“The physical exhaustion, the mental exhaustion does not come from making music. I love making music. I love creating. It’s kind of my own source of therapy and meditation,” she explained.
“But the exhaustion really comes from expectations, berating, and dehumanizing from outside forces. And that shit makes me feel like, ‘Why am I doing this? Why would I set myself up to be bodied like this on a regular basis?'”
Elsewhere during the conversation, SZA discussed her experience at this year’s MET Gala, saying at one point she “snuck out the back”, and was unable to walk down the main steps to exit the venue.
“I just tiptoed a couple blocks and caught a yellow cab back to my hotel, because I was just overwhelmed. I had too much anxiety to wait for my cab in front of the crowd.”
The conversation aired less than two weeks after the singer deleted her TikTok account for Mental Health Awareness Month, encouraging others to “get off the internet” and “delete anything anyone and everything that doesn’t serve you”.
Last month, SZA was announced as one of the headliners for this year’s Outside Lands, which will take place in San Francisco this August. Last week, she was announced as part of this year’s Austin City Limits line-up.
For help and advice on mental health:
- Help Musicians UK – Around the clock mental health support and advice for musicians (CALL MUSIC MINDS MATTER ON: 0808 802 8008)
- CALM – The Campaign Against Living Miserably
- Music Support Org – Help and support for musicians struggling with alcoholism, addiction, or mental health issues (CALL: 0800 030 6789)
- YOUNG MINDS – The voice for young people’s health and wellbeing
- Time To Change – Let’s end mental health discrimination
- The Samaritans – Confidential support 24 hours a day