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Leigh-Anne Pinnock on her love of SZA: ‘she really inspires me’

'The way she writes, she's so personal,' the singer tells Rolling Stone UK of her love for SZA.

By Rolling Stone UK

(Picture: Mariano Vivanco)

Leigh-Anne Pinnock has opened up on her love of SZA, as well as how she’s continually inspired by Euphoria star Zendaya.

The singer opened up in the behind-the-scenes video of her Rolling Stone UK digital cover shoot, which was unveiled last week.

“It’s mainly just because of how unique SZA is as an artist,” explained Pinnock.

“The way she writes, she’s so personal. I think it’s just her pen that really inspires me. In terms of how my music sounds, it’s more the genres that are inspiring me. So reggae, R&B, Afrobeats, all the genres that I love.”

As for her favourite style icons, the former Little Mix star explained how Zendaya has proved to be a great influence on her.

“That woman kills it every time,” she said. “She’s just a walking goddess, really. I kind of love everything about her.”

It comes after Pinnock previously told Rolling Stone UK how she has navigated the music industry as a person of colour.

“I wasn’t in spaces where I could connect with other Black faces, and I was always on the road, so I didn’t get to see my family a lot,” she reflected of her time in Little Mix. “So, it did feel quite lonely, and even more lonely because I didn’t quite understand it myself.”

She added: “I just pushed it down and down and down. I think that’s why I’m still trying to heal from it. It was so weirdly traumatic without even knowing it because I was just getting on with it. I was still smiling, still living my life, but this thing was just there all the time.” 

Now, in Pinnock’s solo work, she explains that the team around her is majority Black. “Now I’m on my own, I have the control to make sure 60 per cent of my team is Black, ’cos why not? Music is so heavily influenced by Black culture, so why are all the people at the top white? I can control these little things. I don’t have to be one of the only Black people in the room now, that just doesn’t have to be my reality,” she said.