SZA Talks Trees, Toxic Positivity, and New Music in “CBS This Morning” Interview

Following the release of “Good Days,” she's teamed up with Tazo Tea and American Forests to combat climate change in BIPOC areas.

It’s nearing four years since SZA dropped her acclaimed debut album Ctrl, and now there seems to be evidence that a follow-up is on the way after a recent interview. However, the initial reason SZA jumped on CBS This Morning was not to talk about music, but climate change. She’s partnered with Tazo tea and American Forests for Tazo Tree Corps, which helps plant trees specifically in BIPOC communities. The organization is combatting climate change, creating job opportunities, and improving mental health in areas that have been victim to decades of racist policies.

She also announced that new music is on the way and that she came straight from the studio to do this interview. Gayle King gives her a pep talk, asserting the talented singer-songwriter should listen to her own music and be proud. “I never listen to my own music, because, again, it makes me feel strange,” she said. “Even with ‘Good Days,’ it wasn’t meant to be a single. It was just a song that I liked and put out as a snippet and people liked it. But it’s the type of song that I wouldn’t expect to be—I don’t know. It’s just honest vibes,” she continued, explaining that she’s genuinely confused and shocked by her audience’s positive response to her music most of the time.

She also discuss the unofficial track “Shirt,” which TikTok users ran with when SZA posted a glimpse online in January. She wasn’t even sure where it was going to be placed on her forthcoming album, but now it’s taking center stage. She said she’s rushing to get it out, and even shot a video for it.

Earlier in the interview SZA quips, “I’m just a girl from the ‘burbs who talks about exactly how she feels too often.” Then, at the interview’s end, King asks about “Good Days” and SZA’s thoughts on mental health. SZA quickly dismisses toxic positivity. “I think sometimes when we’re buried in the deluge of emotion, saying things that are super vague like ‘choosing to feel better’ can seem really insensitive. Most importantly, it’s about acknowledging that dark space that we’re going through and acknowledging that confusion and calamity, allowing those emotions to wash over you and be a moment. Then kind of assessing those different viewpoints of yourself. There’s me observing me feeling this way, there’s me actually feeling this way, and then dividing what’s irrational thoughts.”

After this album, I need a self-help or meditation book from SZA. Check out the whole video below.

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