Tuesday November 6th: LIZZO
Lizzo was born Melissa Jefferson in Detroit and grew up in Houston, playing the flute, listening to gospel and Beyoncé, and later singing in an experimental rock outfit called Ellypseas.
She eventually moved to Minnesota and, during a bout of writer's block, found a spark in Lava Bangers, an album of beats by producer Lazerbeak, best known for his work in the hip-hop collective Doomtree.
While writing new lyrics over his music, she tweeted at him, saying she'd love to work with him, and soon after, with Beak on the beats and Ryan Olson of Gayngs and Poliça producing, she released her debut, Lizzobangers, in 2013, mixing boastful and playful rhymes with messages about gender, race and politics.
Big Grrrl Small World followed in 2015, then by 2016’s major-label debut EP Coconut Oil.
Highlighting body inclusivity and celebrating individuality, Lizzo has been playing Pride festivals around the country and has garnered a massive queer fanbase. Her songs, especially “Good as Hell,” celebrate what it means to be different from the norm and to embrace that difference wholeheartedly.
Plus, it doesn’t hurt that she recently made a guest judge appearance on RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Her music is meant to be enjoyed by those who have felt disenfranchised by society, because that is the experience she has had throughout the course of her life. “I’ve always stood up for the underdog and the underrepresented because I can’t escape from that myself,” she said. “I can’t wake up one day and not be black. I can’t wake up one day and not be a woman. I can’t wake up one day and not be fat. I always had those three things against me in this world, and because I fight for myself, I have to fight for everyone else.”