Seeing SZA — A Student Perspective


Surrounded by melodies and friends, Eleanor Farrell couldn’t believe her eyes. Looming ahead of her was her idol. Standing on a shipwreck, SZA– a popular R&B artist– began to sing.
The first time Farrell heard of SZA was during the summer of 2021: A friend played SZA’s song “Broken Clocks” off of her album “Ctrl;” and Farrell was immediately hooked. SZA quickly became a staple of Farrell’s music taste.

“I just fell in love with her music and her as an artist,” Farrell said. Since then, Farrell has listened to SZA nearly every day. Her favorite song continues to be Broken Clocks, but she has also found solace in other songs.

Farrell feels as though SZA’s music captures an emotion she can’t quite describe. No matter how she feels, Farrell feels seen by SZA.

“Even though I don’t share every experience that she’s been through, I can still find myself or find meaning in each [song],” Farrell said.

On a December morning, Farrell received a text as she sat in her Algebra class. “I got them, Oh my God” it read. The text was from Farrell’s friend and classmate, Miguel Larios. Larios had stayed home to beat competitors for SZA tickets. He had managed to buy four tickets–two of which were for himself and Farrell.

After months of excitement, the group attended the concert in late February. The story of the album was not told only through the songs, but through the visual of a boat. The boat started as a sturdy haven with SZA and her backups mopping and dancing. Midway through, the boat was crushed and SZA was hoisted up on a life ship floating through the air.

Throughout the entire show, Farrell could feel herself getting emotional. However, she believes that this state peaked during SZA’s final song Good Days. As the melody died down, SZA sat atop a diving board with a rainbow screen behind her. As the performance began to wind down, Farrell realized how much the concert had impacted her.

“It felt like the most real moment of my entire life,” Farrell said. “It was a bittersweet moment because I was sad that it was over, but also I was happy because I had been waiting for that concert for forever and I finally got to see her in person.”

Going forward, Farrell thinks her love for SZA and her music will only travel uphill.

“It’ll probably take a minute for her to release more music because SOS just came out,” Farrell said. Farrell estimates a year or two before SZA releases a new album. Until then, she plans to continuously listen to her music, relish in the memories from the concert and rewatch the videos from the concert.