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  • Carl Beust

Grammy nominated SZA serenades Honolulu

Last year SZA promoted her album Ctrl in 2017 by crisscrossing the United States. SZA played every major market in the US and Europe but did not forget smaller markets such as Grand Rapids, Michigan, Lincoln, Nebraska, and Lawrence, Kansas. The New Year began with a tour of Australia, New Zealand, and Honolulu, Hawaii. All that hard work and promotion has paid off. The day before she arrived in Honolulu, SZA became the most nominated female artist at the 2018 Grammy Awards. Besides being nominated for Best New Artist and four other Grammy nominations SZA’s album Ctrl has been included in almost every publications music year-end lists of 2017.

On the heels of her Grammy Nominations, SZA played two sold out performances at The Republik, in Honolulu, Hawaii. The second performance started slightly after 9PM with no opening act. Her audience, diverse, but overwhelming female, welcomed her to the stage by singing along to the opening number “Supermodel”.

SZA and her three piece band performed thirteen songs off of Ctrl and also included two songs off the EP Z. There were no dance routines, or flashy stage production that is often used to mask an artist’s lack of material and/or talent. SZA’s mix of neo-soul, hip-hop, and R&B was front and center. The high energy performance and her infectious enthusiasm masked the themes of self-doubt and personal insecurities of many of the songs.

After "Drew Barrymore” SZA told the audience how much she has enjoyed visiting the islands over the years. Surprising, she gave a big a big shout out to the owner of the local Mom and Pop eatery, Fresh Catch. Someone steered SZA in the right direction. She stated that Fresh Catch was the only place she ate during her three days on the island and I believe her!

After performing “Love Galore” SZA addressed the crowd about her past and how that has shaped her future. Basically, for SZA, her past has brought her to the present moment. Although an experience may have been painful, they will shape the future and she cherishes the past no matter how painful it was. This segued perfectly into her last two numbers “The Weekend”, and “20 Something”. The hour long performance ended without an encore. SZA left it all on the stage, speaking to every twenty something person, leaving everyone wanting more, and looking forward to her future as a singer-songwriter.


01. Supermodel

02. Anything

03. Broken Clocks

04. Go Gina

05. Drew Barrymore

06. HiiiJack

07. Chuild’s Play

08. Normanl Girl

09. Prom

10. Doves In The Wind

11. Wavy (Interlude)

12. Garden (Say It Like Dat)

13. Love Galore

14. The Weekend

15. 20 Something

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