SZA has been on a winning streak for so long now, it’s easy to forget that for years she worked and struggled to have her music accepted—and to accept herself. Now in Can't Judge A Book, a new short documentary from Mastercard, the Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter speaks on the obstacles to her passion that she faced on her journey to the top. "Growing up was hard. I was bullied for being different," says SZA. In the film, she smiles a little at the memory. “Self acceptance usually comes when you’re fed up with trying to be somebody else.”
The short then reveals that SZA is joining with six emerging artists across different genres and backgrounds to recreate Willie Dixon’s, “You Can’t Judge a Book By The Cover.” Look beyond their musical style, ranging from garage-rockers The Tracks to rapper and beatmaker Ruby Ibarra, and their stories begin to converge with SZA’s to share an inspiring message. Says the Missouri-based power trio Radkey: "They got a picture of us, and they didn't want us to play because they thought we were a rap group. Labels don't really work for our band because people think that rock is a white man's world." Whether it's Radkey's story of getting dismissed because of their appearance or guitarist Noe Socha being overlooked because he's "the blind guy", the documentary and resulting music video capture the kind of victory over self-doubt that was so crucial for SZA's success—and for any artist looking to make work that really matters.
Watch the official music video “Can’t Judge a Book” below, featuring SZA and six incredible artists coming together to break barriers and defy genres.
It's not always easy to let personal passion shut out the haters. But everyone has the power to Start Something Priceless. As SZA tells it, "That's our jobs, that's our life's work. To force ourselves to be ourselves, over and over again."
This content was produced with sponsorship from Mastercard. Start Something Priceless.