SZA, hailing from St. Louis, Missouri, identifies herself as of mixed ethnicity, due to her mother’s African roots.
SZA is an American singer and songwriter born on November 8, 1989, to Abdul Mubarak-Rowe and Audrey Rowe.
She spent her childhood in Maple, New Jersey, and only completed her high school studies there from Columbia High School.
While attending Columbia High School, she actively participated in sports, gymnastics, and cheerleading.
She gained fame as a singer with her self-released EPs “See.Sza.Run” (2012) and “S” (2013).
These made her the first female artist signed by Top Dawg Entertainment. In 2017, she signed with RCA Records and released her studio album “Ctrl.”
Beyond singing, SZA is a successful songwriter, having penned songs for Beyonce and Rihanna. She collaborated with artists like Doja Cat, The Weeknd, Travis Scott, and DJ Khaled.
As of February 2024, the singer boasts four Grammy Awards, an American Music Award, a Billboard Music Award, two BET Awards, and two MTV Video Music Awards.
SZA Ethnicity, Race And Religious Background
SZA was born in the U.S., but her mom, from Africa, adds African roots to her American identity.
Her parents follow different religions—her mom is Christian, while her dad is Muslim, practicing Islam.
SZA has embraced her father’s faith and is a follower of Islam, finding meaning in the teachings of Mohammed.
She openly expresses her love and respect for her religion, stating in an interview that the belief in one God and the pillars of Islam resonates deeply with her spirit, and she believes these ideas will always be a part of her.
Furthermore, she added that Islam is her way to connect with God and has always made sense to her.
She expressed that she would love to wear her hijab and talk about her religion more but she doesn’t want to be disrespectful because she has too much love for her religion, her father, and herself.
On September 6, 2023, SZA spoke in “SOS: A Discussion of Race, Art, and Activism in America” hosted by Effron Center for the Study of America at Richardson Theatre.
At the event, SZA spoke about her parents’ Pan-Africanism, mentioning how they reminded her daily of her Black identity and the importance of being heard and recognized.
SZA Parents Meet Father Abdul And Mother Audrey
SZA’s father, Abdul Mubarak-Rowe, is a former CNN editor and producer. He currently works on the advisory board of the New Jersey Council on American-Islamic Relations.
Her mom, Audrey Rowe, was once an AT&T executive and later became the program director at the South Orange-Maplewood Community Coalition on Race.
SZA’s parents have been behind her career, ensuring that her ethnicity is an integral part of who she is.
In the New York Times, she describes her parents as “involved, supportive, overbooked, outgoing, spiritually aware, talkers, and loyal.”
Her understanding of different cultures, values, and ethnic and religious backgrounds are supported by her parents, contributing to the harmony she embraces.
As the singer-songwriter recalls, her parents had a simple approach – her mom did her thing, and her dad did his, creating space for each other.
Furthermore, she added,
She has also opened up about her struggles finding herself after realizing college was not her thing and how her mother, Audrey, helped her with it.
When SZA decided not to go to college as her parents wished, her mom suggested that she should figure out her path.
As of now, SZA is climbing her career ladder with both Abdul’s and Audrey’s support to the fullest.