Watch SZA reveal how recording “Supermodel” was “a safe place to go off”

The artist outlined the making of her Grammy-nominated song for GQ.

January 23, 2018

SZA has hashed out the creation of "Supermodel" from writing to release in a new video interview with GQ. The Top Dawg Entertainment artist describes the single as her "favorite song" from her debut album Ctrl.


The song's lyrics were inspired by a messy relationship, and SZA felt the title should reflect the content, an unusual creative step. "That's like the first song I've ever named after the hook," she said. "I never name a song after the lyrics because I feel like that's stupid. I just never know what I'm talking about till it's over."

SZA began writing "Supermodel" at the end of an unrelated studio session, after hearing the song's chords played by a friend who had just taught himself how to play guitar. "I just kind of responded to the information in that natural way, and that's just what came out," she said.

Other artists contributed to "Supermodel" with mixed results. Pharrell wrote two drum patterns in an attempt to make the song more radio-friendly, but the "synthetic" patterns did not fit with the song's unusual rhythm or "textures," SZA said. In the end, live drums were added by Stix. When SZA's label Top Dawg Entertainment began compiling songs for Ctrl, Kendrick Lamar suggested that "Supermodel" should be the album's closing song. SZA resisted, and it became Ctrl's opening track. "That was the one time I've ever been right," she joked. "I knew that that song was different, and I just didn't know why, but I knew it was different from anything I've ever done."

Watch the full interview, in which SZA also reveals that she and TDE made chicken when she got signed, above. SZA is heading on tour with her label mates this year. She is nominated for five Grammys in 2018, including Best R&B Song for "Supermodel."

Watch SZA reveal how recording “Supermodel” was “a safe place to go off”