Lizzo performs rare acoustic set in The Current studio

Lizzo visits The Current studio to chat with hosts Sanni Brown and Sean McPherson, and to perform two songs accompanied by guitarist Walter Williams. (Nate Ryan | MPR)
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Lizzo performs in The Current studio (full session + interview)
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| 00:19:28
  • Lizzo performs in The Current studio (full session + interview) 19:28
  • Lizzo - Cuz I Love You (Live at The Current) 03:04
  • Lizzo - Juice (Live at The Current) 03:03
  • Lizzo performs in The Current studio (extended version for The Message) 23:36

Lizzo is one of the music industry's top artists. Her latest album, Cuz I Love You, became number one on the iTunes list of top albums on its first day out. Lizzo made her debut at Coachella that same weekend, and she is now traveling around the world on tour. But even with all of her success, Lizzo hasn't forgotten where she got her start. Just before playing a sold-out show at the Palace Theatre, Lizzo stopped by The Current's studio to play a couple of songs and to catch up with hosts Sean McPherson and Sanni Brown. It was a homecoming of sorts as Lizzo joked around and reminisced about the good times she had in Minnesota.

"Being in this space has so many memories for me. … This is like a home away from home," Lizzo says. "I feel very familiar and safe here."

From the time Lizzo first moved to the Twin Cities in 2010, it didn't take long for her to show audiences what she was capable of as a musician. She could rap and do it well, often going on for long stretches at a time. But over the years, her style began to change. Now, instead of getting her message across in 48 bars, she prefers to be more concise, getting those same ideas across in just eight bars.

"I'm a writer. When I was little, I wanted to write the great American novel. I loved writing short stories, long stories, so I'm a writer first," Lizzo says. "I'll listen back to some of my old raps and I'm like, 'You was wordy girl, what was you trying to say?' Like I was obsessed with skill and I was obsessed with being the best. I wanted to be the best flute player, I wanted to be the best rapper, the fastest rapper who could say the most syllables … but because of that, I felt like the message was taking a while to get to people, and if my music is going to have a message, I have to make sure that message is concise."

Even though life as a musician hasn't always been easy, one of the biggest changes Lizzo has seen in herself is the ability stay positive through life's ups and downs. Reflecting on the work she has done, she remembers being angry at the time she recorded her first album, Lizzobangers. She felt like her voice had been stifled at times, and she says the album was a way for her to express how she felt about what was going on in her life and what she saw happening in the world.

Now, more than five years since Lizzobangers was released, Lizzo continues to express herself through her music, but the message has changed. Her music is all about self-love and empowerment, and she's created a community where more people see themselves and feel like they belong. It's something she was inspired to do by her work with Prince.

"I remember that world at Paisley Park was about love and positivity and self-love, and we were given really important notes to stay really positive and really self-loving and I was like, 'Oh this [is] interesting.' I never really thought about being conscious of that in my music before. I just wanted to make the fastest rap or the coolest song or, you know, whatever I was feeling in that moment.

"After I made 'My Skin,' I made a dedication to do that," Lizzo continues. "You know what? I just want to just start being a positive person in my music and I'm just going to dedicate my life. I still have the tweet and I think it was the day after Prince transitioned actually and, you know, left this plane. Like, 'I'm only making positive music from now on, if anybody thinks I'm too happy, then something wrong with you.' And I swear I'm going to get that tweet framed in my house because that was the moment that I stopped trying to be something else than what I'm trying to be, and once I started living in my truth that way, all of these people started."

Even though not all of the songs appear to be happy on Cuz I Love You, Lizzo believes you can still find a positive message in any of her songs on the album.

"The secret is that any song is a body-positive, self-loving song. It's the way that you spin the words and talk about the story," Lizzo says. "It could be a sad song, it could be an aggressive song, but because I make it about me and how I can make this situation better and how I can rise from it, it's a happy song, it's a positive song."

While many of her new songs have become hits in recent years, Lizzo hasn't lost sight of who she is. Even as she continues to grow and change as an artist, she is determined to stay true to herself.

"I was myself, and the world is just catching up to me," she says. "I never followed any trends, I just remained true to myself and eventually if you remain true to yourself the world will catch up to you."

More Video

Songs Performed


"Cuz I Love You"
"Juice"
Both songs are from Lizzo's 2019 album, Cuz I Love You, available on Atlantic Records.

Hosted by Sean McPherson and Sanni Brown
Produced by Derrick Stevens and Michael DeMark
Visuals by Nate Ryan and Helen Teague
Web feature by Simone Cazares

External Link


Lizzo - official site

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16 Photos

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    Lizzo (MPR Photo | Nate Ryan)
  • lizzo-at-the-current
    Lizzo (MPR Photo | Nate Ryan)
  • lizzo-at-the-current
    Lizzo (MPR Photo | Nate Ryan)
  • lizzo-at-the-current
    Lizzo (MPR Photo | Nate Ryan)
  • lizzo-at-the-current
    Lizzo and guitarist Walter Williams perform in The Current studio. (MPR Photo | Nate Ryan)
  • lizzo-at-the-current
    Lizzo (MPR Photo | Nate Ryan)
  • lizzo-at-the-current
    Lizzo and guitarist Walter Williams in The Current studio. (MPR Photo | Nate Ryan)
  • lizzo-at-the-current
    Lizzo and guitarist Walter Williams (MPR Photo | Nate Ryan)
  • lizzo-at-the-current
    Lizzo and guitar player Walter Williams (MPR Photo | Nate Ryan)
  • lizzo-at-the-current
    Lizzo (MPR Photo | Nate Ryan)
  • lizzo-at-the-current
    Lizzo (MPR Photo | Nate Ryan)
  • lizzo-at-the-current
    Lizzo (MPR Photo | Nate Ryan)
  • lizzo-at-the-current
    Lizzo (MPR Photo | Nate Ryan)
  • lizzo-at-the-current
    Lizzo (MPR Photo | Nate Ryan)
  • lizzo-at-the-current
    Lizzo (MPR Photo | Nate Ryan)
  • lizzo-at-the-current
    Lizzo (MPR Photo | Nate Ryan)

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