SZA has picked up some new skills in quarantine. The chart-topping songstress made her directorial debut at midnight on Friday when she dropped the video for “Hit Different” feat. Ty Dolla $ign.
Produced by the Neptunes, the bouncy track adds a charged momentum to her soothing sound without challenging its signature cool.
The visuals keep that same energy. The video follows SZA forgiving herself for a failed love affair in a series of locations including a salvage yard, a swimming pool, a dilapidated barn, an airborne pickup truck and the top of a haystack. Before the viewer can pause to think about her choices, she begins showing off choreography that feels as natural as the song’s lyrics of a woman untangling herself from a messy, albeit good love.
Sza’s magnetic movements go from slinking like a caterpillar through the legs of her dancers to twisting in the sunlight bathed in glossy red paint. Later, she playfully prances while reminding her ex not to trip to when he spots her with a new suitor.
It’s here that Ty Dolla $ign appears. The hitmaker bops at her side, each tap to his temple a threat to the loser that let her go.
The video soon pivots to only SZA, whose infamous big curls are noticeably absent as she’s opted for braids adorned with wooden beads. While straddling a leather pommel horse in an ombre bikini, she wonders aloud if she’s wasted the best she has to offer on someone so undeserving as her, but then a voice erupts with a firm no. She assures the viewers that despite her struggles she still believes in good things. Soon the credits reveal audiences have just watched a Solana production, and everything makes perfect sense.
The release was a welcome surprise for fans who have been begging the singer daily for a follow-up to 2017’s CTRL. The hashtag #FreeSZA began trending after she hinted at label disputes on Twitter. She clarified she was just venting about creative differences.
“Just wanted to share something .. thank you to every single person that brought my heart to life during Covid,” she wrote on Instagram.
See the full Sza directed video below.