SZA tapped several famous friends to appear on her latest studio album SOS—among them was Phoebe Bridgers on the track “Ghost in the Machine.” The unlikely pairing shaped a collaboration that melded R&B and indie pop to perfection.
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SZA had long expressed she was struggling to finish the follow-up to her 2017 album, Ctrl, and it seems she was working up until the last minute. During a recent interview, Bridgers said the collaboration happened at the spur of the moment.
“That record is insane,” Bridgers told NME dressed as Sally for the live version of A Nightmare Before Christmas alongside Danny Elfman. “She just hit me up. She just sent me a DM. And then it all happened so fast. I wasn’t really used to that in that pop world, because vinyl isn’t so much of a consideration until way later.”
She continued, “It’s just like, ‘Do you want to be on this record? OK, it’s out next week.’ It was so recent, which I really like. I like that turnaround time. Personally, I sit on stuff for so long and it takes me years to make albums. I like seeing someone else’s world from that angle.”
She also gushed about SZA herself saying, “She’s definitely my favorite rapper. She’s so, so effective and cool and a great hang.” Check out the song below.
Elsewhere on SOS are collaborations with Don Toliver, Travis Scott, and Ol’ Dirty Bastard. The album housed a number of solo releases from SZA that have accumulated since 2017, including “Shirt,” “Good Days” and “I Hate U.”
In an interview prior to the album’s release, SZA called the album “a little bit of literally everything. It’s a little angry as an overview, but some of it is really beautiful and soft and heartfelt. It’s about heartbreak, it’s about being lost, it’s about being pissed.”
She added, “It’s my first album in five years, so I’m ready to be a different person and step into this new part of my life. Really exemplify who this character is and get to know myself better while everyone else gets to know me live at the same time.”
Photo: Tina Benitez-Eves