Earlier this week, SZA shared the tracklisting for her long-awaited debut album Ctrl, which includes exciting collaborations with Kendrick Lamar, Isaiah Rashad, James Fauntleroy and Travis Scott (“Love Galore”). But there’s another name you might recognize that isn’t listed on the album’s back cover: Pharrell.
During a recent interview with Hot 97’s Nessa, SZA spilled the beans about her secret collaboration with Skateboard P, which she calls a "dream" come true. In similar fashion to Skepta and Pharrell’s “Numbers,” the song came about after SZA appeared on Pharrell and Scott Vener’s OTHERtone Radio show on Beats 1 earlier this year.
“Pharrell is whispering on a track. It was a dream… a dream! We met each other, we had an interview and then we spoke. Then someone alley-ooped me and he was just like, ‘of course I’ll do this.’ I couldn’t believe it, he said that and I just freaked out. He’s amazing. That’s a very big deal to me. I was a huge Pharrell stan. In high school, I was a crazy BBC Ice Cream [head]. I was skipping class to go see Pharrell at Good Morning America and all kinda shit.”
Though Pharrell is only whispering on the song, it was still enough to make SZA lose her mind (and possibly voice) when she heard his vocals for the first time. After all, N*E*R*D’s “Sacred Temple” is proof that Pharrell doesn’t always have to sing his heart out to make a song great.
“I was screaming. I’m really glad that he didn’t pick up when I called him after he sent me the first thing, because I called him immediately after he sent me things back and I was screaming. By the time he called me back I was more calm but still semi-screaming, but he was chill and didn’t judge me. He’s definitely Poppa Pharrell: he’s very calm and awesome, and I be wildin.’”
Which song Pharrell appears on remains a surprise, but one thing’s for sure: we’re even more excited for Ctrl. The album finally arrives this Friday, June 9.