SZA covers ‘WSJ. Magazine’s annual Innovator issue, talks her first job, Bieber in the “Snooze” video & more

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WSJ. Magazine has named SZA its 2023 Music Innovator of the Year. 

In a wide-ranging cover story, part of a bigger Innovator issue that’ll hit newsstands on November 11, the R&B superstar opened up on a plethora of music and personal topics. 

SZA said that zeroing in on fans in the audience when performing live helps with nerves. 

“When I’m onstage I’m actually so stressed about doing a good job, I can only lock in on one fan at a time per section. But on that note, that’s good though, because I’ve been knowing people by face and name,” she said. “Like, ‘Oh, I’ve seen you for four years, you’re coming backstage with me."”

She also shared how Justin Bieber became one of the men to star in the “Snooze” music video.

“Him and Hailey [Bieber] were randomly the first people to hit me on FaceTime after ‘SOS’ dropped,” she said, adding that at the video shoot, “[Justin] showed up and he was down as f*** for the whole day, and didn’t trip about nothing.”

The “Kill Bill” singer revealed some of her first jobs were as a sneaker salesperson and a member of the Sephora team. 

As for advice she’d give her younger self, SZA said, “Don’t let anyone psych you out. Everybody’s making it up. I cared more about people at work being mad at me or not liking me.”

She added, “I would, like, tone it down when other people would be annoyed with me. And I only now realize that was crazy, they were trying to psych you out and you let them. It’s ridiculous.”

The Grammy winner, along with six others, will be honored at WSJ Magazine’s 13th annual Innovator Awards on November 1. 

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