Ctrl (pronounced “control”) is the debut studio album by the TDE first lady SZA, originally titled “A”. The name “Ctrl” was first teased on her Instagram in late 2016 before being officially confirmed during her performance on Jimmy Kimmel.
It was released on June 9, 2017, by Top Dawg Entertainment and RCA Records. Following the release of debut extended play Z (2014), SZA began writing for other artists and working on her debut, however her debut project was met with various setbacks. SZA followed an analog process and contributed heavily to the album’s lyrics. Recording continued until 2017 by which SZA had created two hundred songs. During the recording process SZA opted for a freestyle method, relying on moments in the studio. The majority of CTRL was recorded in Engine Room Audio in lower Manhattan.
The album was released to acclaim from music critics. It debuted at number three on the US Billboard 200, moving 60,000 equivalent-album units in its first full-tracking week. It generated the singles “Drew Barrymore,” “Love Galore,” and “The Weekend.” As of October 2017, the album has been certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America for accumulating over 500,000 in album-equivalent units and pure sales.