NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 02: SZA attends The 2022 Met Gala Celebrating "In America: An Anthology of ...
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SZA May Finally Be Returning With New Music

It’s been five years since she dropped her critically acclaimed debut, ‘CTRL.’

Well, well, well. Could it be? Could it really be?

After five-and-half years and countless promises of new music, could it be that SZA is finally ready to bless us with Album #2? According to a rather cryptic Twitter post, it certainly seems that way.

This morning, TIME Magazine dropped its annual TIME 100 Next List for 2022, honoring 100 people (spread across Artists, Phenoms, Innovators, Leaders, and Advocates) who the publication thinks are making a difference of some kind in the world. SZA, despite being largely quiet all year, was one of four honorees to land on one of the special issue’s covers. (The other three are actresses Keke Palmer and Sydney Sweeney, as well as activist Farwiza Farhan.)

In a celebratory acknowledgement of this immense honor, SZA took to Twitter earlier this afternoon to post several pictures from the magazine feature. “This is actually kinda nuts,” she wrote in the accompanying tweet. “New era loading.” She included a hourglass emoji before thanking TIME and fellow singer Lizzo, who wrote her accompanying blurb.

So that means what I think it means, right? On this day, Wednesday, September 28, SZA basically confirmed that an entire “new era” is imminent. Right? Right? Time to buckle up!

Though SZA has been slow to release a new album, the singer hasn’t been entirely absent. Most recently, she shared a special edition deluxe version of her breakout debut album CTRL, which came with six brand new songs as well as a new version of “Love Galore” that features the heavily-teased third verse that was missing from the original cut. (In its place was a quotable feature from Travis Scott.) She’s also generously lent her talent to other people’s tracks, including Kali Uchis’ “fue mejor,” Summer Walker’s “No Love,” a remix of Doechii’s “Persuasive,” and, of course, Doja Cat’s “Kiss Me More,” which earned both performers their first Grammy Awards earlier this year.

The singer also released three new songs between 2020 and 2021, though there’s no way to know if “I Hate U,” “Good Days,” or the Ty Dolla $ign-featuring “Hit Different” will be part of this new era.

For that matter, it’s hard to know exactly what this “new era” will give us at all. One would safely expect such a thing to at least include a new album’s worth of original material, but I think we’ve all learned that it’s best not to presume anything before the artist themselves has offered up more concrete information. (It’s been six years since Anti, after all, and Rihanna is still playing games with us – Super Bowl or not.) Whatever this new era gives us, though, NYLON will be ready.

In the meantime, revisit SZA’s Grammy-winning collab below.