Not since the early 90's and 2000's have we had such an influx of girl power. Within the last few years, more girl groups have popped up, quenching that thirst for bright, poppy sounds, fierce vocals, with a message for strong femmes everywhere. The pop-quartet SZNS, brings us a fresh new take on the classic 90's girl group. Blending the familiar sounds of classic pop with a modernized Latin and EDM spin featuring synth and house inspired beats. Winter, Spring, Summer, and Autumn each bring their own, unique flair to create a cohesive and vibrant sound that creates something as fun and powerful as they are. On January 22, they dropped their latest single “Behave,” an empowerment anthem for women. We got to sit down and talk to SZNS about their new track, what inspires them, and a heavy dose of girl power.
For starters, I’d love to know what kicked this off. How did you all meet?
WINTER: We all met about a year and a half ago. We auditioned and then all moved in together. It’s been like one big summer camp ever since.
Let’s talk about the seasonal concept and how each new release will be tailored to fit that vision. Was this always the route you wanted to follow or did it come about later on?
WINTER: We felt it just kind of made sense to make songs that went with the seasons. During Summer, people want a happy go lucky kind of sound but in winter they might like more of a dark vibe. So, this gave us the opportunity to explore our sound and not be boxed in by a specific vibe.
SUMMER: Each of us have our own vibe and songs that feel more personal to us, which is why we like to put out those songs during our specific “szn” but lately we’ve decided to just put out music when it feels right, which is exactly why we decided to drop behave. It’s just what we have to say right now.
I love that you’re bringing a fresh, new take on girl groups by honoring our favorite 90s groups with a modern EDM and Latin spin. What are some of your favorite girl groups? Any that you’re particularly influenced by?
AUTUMN: Some of our favorites are BlackPink, Destiny’s Child, Danity Kane, Pussycat Dolls, Spice Girls-- the list seriously goes on and on.
One of the things that makes your music so relatable is the lyricism, the way it feels like a natural conversation between you and the listener. Can you tell us a bit more about your creative and writing process?
AUTUMN: We’re super lucky because all four of us are really strong writers independently, so when we come together it’s like we’re finishing each other’s sentences. It’s important to us to be genuine and honest in our music and I think that’s where the conversational vibe comes in to play- we don’t sing anything we wouldn’t say to each other. Usually our process starts with one of us dishing about a romance, or a night out, or a heartbreak, and then we all share stories and anecdotes that become the outline. Then we get into the studio or just throw some chords together on the keyboard and start pitching melodies!
Your music often speaks to the status quo that women face on a daily basis while offering inspiring words of encouragement. Especially as women in the industry, we face certain criticism that our male counterparts do not. How do you personally deal with that?
AUTUMN: Ok, honestly this is hard for me. I am definitely a SZN on the more hot-tempered side and I do get super frustrated when I feel like someone is treating me or us as a group differently than they would treat a male counterpart or a boy band. Something I have to keep in mind is that with our music we can make a difference, we can empower younger girls and help educate the next generation. Every woman in the industry taking up space is paving the way- bullshit we have to go through now a girl group in 2031 won’t.
Your latest single “Behave” is all about female empowerment and being unapologetically you as loud as possible. Tell us more about the inspiration behind this track?
AUTUMN: "Behave," to me, is a coming out song. I was anxious for far too many years of my teens, so concerned that my sexuality was anybody else’s business and it’s just... not.
SUMMER: "Behave," for me, is about being unapologetically yourself and not changing who you are for anyone else.
Is there a particular line that sticks out the most to you?
AUTUMN: I really love all of the lyrics but the bridge is the most impactful to me. The entire song thus far is fun and sexy, a little tongue in cheek, wry, sassy. In the bridge we get kinda real. The disappointment someone feels towards us is not about us at all but the fault of societal or cultural or personal expectations and it’s accepting the truth of that. “No I can’t blame you if you walk away.” Like we’re saying we get it- that the world is like this, but we’re gonna be ourselves anyways.
SUMMER: I love the line “wish I was sorry” because for a long time I felt guilty about owning who I am and what I stand for but not anymore! If you don’t like me that’s fine Imma do me.
WINTER: My fav line would probably be “baby don’t act up, I got a bench, I got backup. Make no mistake I’m the player don’t play me.” And not because I’m a big player because I’m really not, I really just wanna be in love. BUT it’s my fav because it gives all the power to the person singing it. Like don’t think you can just play with me because I see the game and can play it better than you.
SPRING: My favorite line would have to be, “don’t try to tame me.” I feel my whole life I’ve been told to dress a certain way, cover up more, be a little more lady like. I say hell no, be you, be bold and set your wild side free!!!
You all have some exciting things planned. What can we expect from your upcoming EPs?
WINTER: From our next music coming out, you can expect the unexpected. We love creating sounds we haven’t tried before while still keeping making it cohesive. And we are constantly challenging ourselves as writers to be vulnerable and tell our true relatable stories. There will be songs that make you get up and dance, songs that make you cry, and songs that make you feel powerful.
Be sure to check out SZNS new single “Behave” and follow them on social media for more!
Written & interviewed by Mikayla Anderson
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