SZA says being bullied as a teenager motivated her to succeed

SZA has spoken about her experiences of being bullied as a teenager and how it contributed to her future success.

The artist opened up about feeling misunderstood and experiencing different forms of bullying during her teenage years in a new interview with People.

“I was bullied because I wasn’t quiet and I was awkward at the same time,” she said. “I wasn’t this tiny sad victim, but I was more so attacked just because it was giving ‘what is wrong with you?’ energy.

“I always thought, ‘Oh my God.’ I’ll never have the approval of anyone in life, this must be my defining factor, this must be the bottom line.”

She added that she doesn’t regret that chapter in her life and instead, believes that it has made her who she is today.

“I realized that all the things that made me feel so lame were actually what made me into who I am,” she explained. “It’s like, I didn’t go to prom because I didn’t have any friends and I had no one to go to prom with…[and now] it’s so weird that my life turned into [having] a bodyguard while traveling to parties.”

She continued: “All these things, if I had such a fulfilling existence and experience in high school, I would’ve felt validated to the point where I didn’t need to do anymore. [So] I just had to do more, I had to be more because I was like, ‘This shitty experience can’t be the end of it because if it is, I am cooked.’”

Later in the same interview, she offered some words of encouragement to anyone being bullied. “Everyone who experiences bullying, that just sucks, but it’s going to lead you to something, it has to,” she said.

“If you could hold on and just wait until high school is over because 10 years from now, I promise you, none of those people will matter.”

SZA released her long awaited second album ‘SOS’ last month and it topped the Billboard 200, reached Number Two in the UK Album Charts and saw SZA become the most listened to artist on Spotify. Her 17-date North American arena tour sold out in seconds.

Reviewing the album, NME awarded ‘SOS’ five stars and said it was “a comeback album well worth the wait”.

It added: “The US star’s first album in five years – and her last ever, she says – is sprawling, superb and rarely puts a foot wrong.”

Last week, SZA teased a new video for ‘SOS’ track ‘Kill Bill’. The 20 second clip is filmed very much like the Quentin Tarantino film of the same name, with the R&B star getting dressed for revenge and riding off into the night on her motorcycle much like Uma Thurman’s lead character in the movie.


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