Lizzo performs in The Current studio

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Lizzo performs in The Current studio
Lizzo performs in The Current studio (John Vettese/WXPN)
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Lizzo performs in The Current studio (full session + interview)
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  • Lizzo performs in The Current studio (full session + interview) 25:10
  • Lizzo - Humanize (Live on 89.3 The Current) 03:26
  • Lizzo - My Skin (Live on 89.3 The Current) 05:03
  • Lizzo - Ain't I (Live on 89.3 The Current) 03:55

Lizzo's new album — released Dec. 11, 2015 — is Big GRRRL Small World. "It's so cool to hear people say the album name, because I've just been waiting to put this out for so long," Lizzo says. "It's happening!"

Lizzo joins The Current's Jade in the studio to talk about the new album and to perform some songs from it. Compared to its predecessor, Lizzobangers, Big GRRRL Small World is an exciting new step for Lizzo the artist. "I think that I was able to have the resources and the time to do all of the things that go on in my mind, I think that is the main difference," Lizzo says. "I got to create music from the ground up, and that was really exciting."

Big GRRRL Small World was recorded at Justin Vernon's April Base Studios in Eau Claire, Wis., with the help of executive producer B.J. Burton. "I love B.J.," Lizzo says. "Everything took a softer edge when we took it to April Base. We were able to add live instrumentalists to the music, and we were able to find nuance. That's the best thing in the world I think that you can do to a song, is add nuance, and we were able to do that."

Here are more highlights from Lizzo's interview with Jade:

On the deeper meaning of the album, thematically:
"Big GRRRL Small World, I've discovered, after stepping back and listening, is a story of self discovery and acceptance. I think that it was a very subconscious decision to make the songs about what they're about lyrically, but intentionally, it's all from this experience I had when I did the Style Like You interview from What's Underneath. I had to take my clothes off and do an interview with somebody … After I had that experience, there was something that changed in me … because it made me discover all the things I did like about myself. … It empowered me a lot, actually, to be like, 'There I am.' The whole record kind of fell into place after that."

On the song, "Bother Me":
"It tells this complete story of a woman who is a boss and is coming into her own but also can't hide from her vulnerability. And that's how the song ends. It's my favorite work, and I think that to be able to do that in one song … I think that's me, romantically, loving me in a nutshell."

On starting her own label, BGSW:
"When it came down to it, I just wanted to own this [album] with B.J. and all of the musicians who worked on it. So we just decided to put it out on BGSW. And now I'm going to boss up and learn a little bit before I throw myself in the deep water."

On the personal meaning of her song, "Paris," now that she's been there:
""Have you Ever Been to Paris?' is now a metaphor to me, too. … It's not a location. It represents something so big and beautiful, I think I will always think of my next venture as 'going to Paris' … Maybe, 'Have you ever been to the Grammys?'"

On the inspiration for and meaning of the song "Ain't I":
"I see a red curtain, a red velvet curtain, it's very much like you're in a theater, it's very much like you're sitting down, and it's very much like Sojourner Truth or someone comes out and speaks to you and moves you, and you get that moment where it sinks in and you get real, and you keep it going. The end is like a reverberation. I want to perpetuate my blackness just like Sojourner Truth did; I feel very much like I have a responsibility to represent myself in the purest way and not to hold back. The song's called 'Ain't I' and she has a speech called 'Ain't I a Woman?' It's just amazing … The point is to imagine sitting at the conference she spoke at, taking the reverberation of that statement from her lips and continuing it. It's like an echo. And I hope that somebody listens to my song and wants to extend the echo. … It's the thesis of the record in my eyes. It's the first song. It's like: THIS IS WHAT YOU'RE ABOUT TO EXPERIENCE, in all levels, the big and the small."

Songs Performed


"Humanize"
"My Skin"
"Ain't I"
All songs off Lizzo's 2015 album, Big GRRRL Small World, available on BGSW Records.

Video

Courtesy World Cafe/WXPN

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  • Watch video of Lizzo performing in Washington, D.C. The Twin Cities rapper, who will release her second album on Dec. 11, won over crowds when she opened Sleater-Kinney's reunion tour earlier this year. See video of Lizzo performing 'W.E.R.K. pt. 2' and 'My Skin' at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C.
  • Watch video of Lizzo performing in Washington, D.C. The Twin Cities rapper, who will release her second album on Dec. 11, won over crowds when she opened Sleater-Kinney's reunion tour earlier this year. See video of Lizzo performing 'W.E.R.K. pt. 2' and 'My Skin' at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C.

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    Lizzo performs in The Current studio (John Vettese/WXPN)
  • Lizzo performs in The Current studio 2
    Lizzo performs in The Current studio (John Vettese/WXPN)
  • Lizzo performs in The Current studio 4
    Lizzo performs in The Current studio (John Vettese/WXPN)

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