Meet SZA’s Bassist: Skater, Scholar, Wild Card, and Bruja: Arianna Gil

When she’s not touring as the bassist for SZA, Arianna Maya Gil is in class at Oberlin College in Ohio where she experiences a disconnect between the allegedly progressive principles of the school and her peers’ day-to-day experiences with racism and sexism on campus.

Even as a New Yorker –born and bred – she never seems like a fish out of water in Ohio. Arianna speaks out in her classes, throws ‘Latinx Power’ parties for her peers on campus, finds space on stage making music, tweets about her tour adventures and her frustration with school administrators, and posts sassy pictures on Instagram– all while writing her senior thesis.

At 20, Arianna is proving that it does not bode well to draw arbitrary lines around what work we consider political and what we deem culture and art-making. She sees them as inseparable and will call you a “dishonest person” if you think otherwise. Most uniquely, she humbly approaches her craft and her community of mentors and friends from a framework of understanding networks not as capital but as the only way to deconstruct capital in the first place.

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