Observing someone upside down is an excellent way to determine their personal style. As I watched SZA “stand” with her palms on the ground and her feet in the air from my decidedly safer-position (cross-legged and on the floor), I realized that there is no way to perform a handstand in front of a six-person audience without feeling really, really good about what you’re wearing. You need to be comfortable to hang out the wrong way up.
The Top Dawg Entertainment-signed artist did just this (off-camera, I regret to inform you) in a pair of Muppet-sheep shorts and a tee-shirt with expertly-rolled sleeves, combat boots and the kind of hat that requires innate coolness on behalf of the wearer in order for the whole look to read as cool — and SZA looked cool. She always does. Have you seen her Instagram? This shoot she did for us? She embodies style, but her music alone could tell you that.
It’s a comforting reminder that we eventually do grow into ourselves. In this episode of The Chatroom, SZA tells Leandra that she still remembers what it’s like to be picked on in school. That she wasn’t “cool” growing up, and far from popular. She was different. Her path was different, but she followed it — sometimes on two hands — all the way to the stage on which she was born to dance and sing.
Watch the interview. You’ll see what I mean.
Feature Photograph by Charlotte Fassler.