Catching up with Lizzo on "Rumors," and returning to the stage

Interview with Lizzo (MPR)

Fresh off the release of her collaboration with Cardi B on the song "Rumors," we catch up with the Grammy-winning artist and former Minnesotan Lizzo about her first performance in two years, and what she's been up to during quarantine.

Interview Transcript

Edited for clarity and length.

JILL RILEY: Hey! Lizzo, what's up?

LIZZO: What's up man? Long time no speak.

I know. I feel like I see you all the time. It's incredible.

Yeah, but we don't get to speak. So this is nice.

This is great. I'm with a really special guest. She is so close to our hearts in Minneapolis and St. Paul. She's an international superstar. She's a pop culture sensation. She's a Grammy winner. We watched her develop her career here in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and so we're going to we're always going to claim her as a Minnesotan. Lizzo, what's going on?

Oh man, nothing much. It feels really good to you know, be talking to you and there's something that feels like, familiar and home about this conversation, like riding in my car in Uptown, listening to this.

Well we miss you. You were just back in Minnesota recently for a show at the Treasure Island amphitheater. What was it like to be back at performing in Minnesota?

I'll tell ya. So I haven't played a show in two years, because of the pandemic and the lockdown. And I was just like, I'm staying in. I'm staying safe. I'm keeping people safe. So my first show back was slated to be Bonnaroo. I was supposed to be the first woman to headline Bonnaroo, and it's gotten canceled two years in a row. We found out after all this rehearsal, and we found out days before and I was like, "Whoa." And I was like, everything happens for a reason because now my actual first show back in nearly two years, is in the state where my solo career began. It felt appropriate. It felt like a true homecoming. There's no better feeling than all these people who are there to see you because they believed in you, and they feel close to you. It was so cool, and I hadn't performed "Rumors" live at all. So that was my first time hearing people sing "Rumors," and I was like, "Oh my gosh, it's really out. People really know it and they like it!" So it was really incredible.

What did it feel like to have that energy coming at you? I imagine, like you said, feels incredible, but after not performing for two years, what does that feel like to stand on the stage?

I was very nervous. I get nervous before everything. I don't know, I'll just get nervous and start sweating. Doesn't matter what it is. So I've been nervous for weeks, and then we did soundcheck at Treasure Island. I don't know what it is about stepping onto stage. But I was on stage and I was like, "Oh, this...I know what I'm doing, like, piece of cake." It felt like I was on the playground again, and I have this muscle memory and all of these like second nature things that I had forgotten in rehearsal just come back to me. All of this natural instinct. It was really incredible.

I'm talking with Lizzo, here on The Current. You mentioned that new song "Rumors"--that was a big surprise to get a new song from you because it's been what, two years since the release of Cuz I Love You, and really cool to see that you hooked up with Cardi B for this. So can you talk about meeting Cardi B? How did you guys come together? How did you decide to do a song together?

So I met Cardi B--well, I was a fan of Cardi B for years. I followed her on Instagram, like for years and years and years. And I watched how she got on Love And Hip Hop and then she dropped her Gangsta Bitch mixtapes, and I was like, "Man, she's so cool." She's so funny, and she's so smart. She always speaks her mind. She's always on the nose, you know? I always respected that about her, and I was like, man, it'd be so dope to do a song with her. Then she got signed to Atlantic Records, and I was like, "Oh my gosh," and I was like, "please let me do a song with Cardi!" and they're like, "Chill," you know? Not Cardi's team, my team, they were like, "Chill." Then I finally met her for the first time at one of the Atlantic parties and they were like, "Cardi wants to meet you." I was like "What?! Me?" And she was so sweet, and ever since then we've had this relationship where she encourages me, she's like a champion for me. If I go through something--if I am on the internet and I'm upset, or if I'm receiving backlash, or whatever--I will get messages from her. She'd be like, "Hello, Lizzo, I just wanted to let you know that you are talented, and you are a musician. You deserve to be here and you've earned so much in your life. Don't let these people bring you down." You know, she's always like, "Put it in the music. Put it in the music." So when I wrote "Rumors," I was like, yeah, this is the perfect opportunity to get her on the song because she's been the person that's been helping me out. She gets so much about her on the internet. I was like, "Let's shut it down together."

Yeah, it seems as entertainers that you've had so much in common, in the way that you are both hilarious. You are both very honest, you both put yourself out there, and you both have been subject to this backlash that is very unnecessary. You both have worked really hard, so I imagine that you have that kind of kinship. I'm talking with Lizzo, we were just talking about that new song "Rumors" with Cardi B that we've been playing here on The Current. It's so cool to see you and to talk to you after all of this time. We've been watching you--your rise to stardom makes Minnesota so so proud. I got to ask, this new single, and the fact that it's been two years since the record, is this any indication that the new record is possibly on the way?

Oh, absolutely. I can't be the type to just drop a single and disappear. I have to follow up with more music. The thing is, I've been writing a lot. I have a lot of songs--hundreds at this point, and I'm still writing! I'm going to the studio today. I really want to make sure that I'm telling the right story, my story. I realized that my music is has a special use in this world, it makes people feel better. Especially after the last--I'm gonna say 10 years [laughs] we all need to feel better. It's been a wild decade, and these last few years has really culminated into unimaginable new territory. So I want to make sure I'm honoring that too, and respecting that. Knowing my place, knowing my lane and staying in it because I built this lane for myself so I might as well stay in it and swerve, you know what I'm saying? Because it's all mine. And that's a Houston term, I don't mean swerve out of control. [laughs] But yeah, I have music coming and I'm very excited about it. There's no album date, but you can expect it imminently.

I love to hear that. Love seeing your face, loved talking to you on the radio. Lizzo we feel like we got a little ownership in you here in Minneapolis and St. Paul and just congratulations on all your success. It's so fun to see you when you perform on TV and award shows. Anytime that we see all the success you're having, we're so happy for you here in the Twin Cities. Lizzo, international superstar, it's been a long 10 years but a 10 years where you have really developed this incredible voice, bringing happiness, bringing inspiration to people and we can't wait to hear the new music. So Lizzo take care and let us know when it's time for that new record, okay?

I will, thank you so much. It was nice talking to you again.

Nice to talk to you too.

External Link

Lizzo - official site


Host - Jill Riley
Producers - Christy Taylor, Jesse Wiza
Technical Director - Eric Romani

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