Lizzo on Cuz I Love You and how her music helps fans 'feel better'

Lizzo opens up about the musical forces that have shaped her sound, becoming louder and braver in her career, and the heightened scrutiny that follows success.
Lizzo in the q studio in Toronto. (Vivian Rashotte/CBC)

Originally published on May 22, 2019

It seems like not long ago that Lizzo joined host Tom Power in the q studio to talk about her breakout hit song Good as Hell and her first major label release, Coconut Oil. At that time in 2016, the singer/rapper had a small, yet ferociously dedicated fan base.

The Minneapolis singer and rapper has seemingly blown up over night, and now with a few headlining tours under her belt, as well as gracing the cover of the recent issue of Essence magazine, she's reaching more people than ever.

WATCH | Lizzo's full interview with q host Tom Power:

"It's just important to me that everyone is getting this message because this music isn't just music that's like, 'Oh, I'm popping, I'm cute, let's go,'" she tells Power. "This music is actually … helping people in a very visceral way, in a very physical and emotional way. So as a big Black girl, why wouldn't I want big Black girls to hear this music and feel better?"

She also talks about the musical forces that she first heard as a young woman, and who shaped her sound, from Aretha Franklin to Missy Elliott.

"I didn't know what was possible for a girl like me until I saw [Missy] do it first," she says. "She's a rapper, she is a singer, she's a songwriter, dancer, creative director, music video director, storyteller, pop star, Grammy winner, fashion icon, all of those things."

You can hear or watch the full conversation with Lizzo above, in which she also talks about becoming louder and braver in her career and the heightened scrutiny she's received with this whole new level of fame.

Produced by Ben Edwards



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