It wasn’t an official single, but SZA‘s “Supermodel” was a clear standout on her excellent debut album CTRL.
In a new interview with GQ, however, SZA explains that the song didn’t have a simple road to completion and she had to listen to her gut, ignoring opinions from those around her. Putting the album’s tracklist together after signing with TDE, she says, “Kendrick [Lamar] was like, ‘This is an album cut. This should be at the end.'”
After sending the song to “the meanest person [she] knew” and getting positive feedback, SZA had new confidence for the song and ended up ignoring Kendrick’s advice. She put it first on the tracklist. SZA laughs, “That was the one time I’ve ever been right. I knew that song was different. I just didn’t know why, but I knew it was different than anything I’ve done.”
SZA also explains that Pharrell made two different drum patterns for the song, but she ended up going with live drums from Social Experiment drummer Stix instead. “It just did not work out,” she says. “Pharrell’s [drums] . are synthetic and Stix was playing live. So it was just a matter of textures and timing. That natural human swing—Stix was just in that natural human in-person swing.”
Sounds like she made the right decision. Watch her gorgeous Nabil-directed video for “Supermodel” below.
Continue for more of SZA’s thoughts on CTRL, Kendrick Lamar, and Wonder Woman below.