The answers have been edited for brevity and clarity.
AP: Congratulations on your Grammys. There was a controversy about the lack of diversity in this year’s awards. What would be an ideal version of the Grammys for you?
LIZZO: There is always a lack of diversity, that is the problem in general. I don’t think it’s like “the 2020 Grammys lack diversity”, it’s as if the industry lacks diversity. So, the world that I would like to see, of course, has an even playing field: I think there are more women, more black people, more brown people, more people from other countries where you simply don’t put them in a foreign category, you put them in the category. Someone like BTS. But I think that comes only with the participation and use of my privilege now as someone in the industry with a platform to educate other people.
AP: Of the Grammy you received, any you didn’t expect?
LIZZO: I didn’t expect to win the first prize of the night (best pop solo performance). I thought Beyoncé was going to win, I really did. I was even saying “Beyoncé, Beyoncé”. But I am very grateful and it was a very special and powerful moment. Here are more moments like that in the future.
AP: I grew up seeing blonde, super skinny pop stars that looked perfect in every way. Then you come and I am grateful for that.
LIZZO: I’m perfect, little sister! Remove that! I think that even the blond and thin pop stars have imperfections, but unfortunately the media portray them as perfect, and I think that even those women struggle to live up to a body type or stereotype and probably suffer from many depression. I am brown, I am black, I am curvy and I am perfect and beautiful. And I think that we, as well as other people like Billie Eilish, am completely different from her, but she is also rebelling against the archetype of the pop star. So, I’m glad you’re grateful for me, but you must also understand that I’m as perfect as they are. You too
AP: Were you always that confident or did you have to find the trust within yourself?
LIZZO: You really have to find it within yourself, but you must go through life to get there. It sounds very cliché, but life is your best teacher and you learn the best lessons of life. I learned a lot in the last 10 years about myself, about who I am. I also learned to love that person.
AP: Your song “Lingerie” portrays a woman in a very sensual way. Do you think women should embrace and possess their femininity?
LIZZO: I think women should embrace anything about themselves. I think femininity is also something that may be changing. I think a woman can also embrace her masculinity. I think a woman can embrace her androgyny, her abilities to be everything. I personally am a hyperfemenin woman. I hug my masculine side, but I’m hyperfemenin. I have a lingerie closet in my room and I wanted to celebrate that about myself. I think it’s not for everyone, but I do think we should be celebrating more.
AP: There was a dispute about the authorship of his song “Truth Hurts”. Has this been fixed or is it still happening?
LIZZO: What is done is done. I was so happy to give a part of my composition credit to a woman in London who tweeted ‘I did a DNA test, I’m 100% that bitch’, as she tweeted the same year I wrote the song, and I was happy to share that with her. Although I’ve never seen that tweet, I knew she inspired one of the best songs of 2019. She didn’t write the song at all and the other people who claimed to write the song didn’t write it either, but that’s what happens when you become an author of a song number one, everyone wants to testify about it, but the only person who was also happy to give that success was a black woman in London who tweeted one of the smartest things I’ve heard.
AP: It is very difficult to say that something is original today.
LIZZO: My God, tell me! And for me, my ego got in the way because I have seen many songs that came from the Internet or that came from a tweet or a meme, but that person who created it never got credit and the composer only receives credit. At the end of the day, there is nothing new under the sun, but it definitely taught me how to be more careful in the future.
AP: You play the classical flute. Do you see yourself doing something in the future with Björk, who also likes the flute?
LIZZO: I’m a Björk fan! I would love to play the flute with Björk. I think Björk is like a Missy Elliott where it is a privilege to work with her. And she doesn’t have to work with everyone or anyone, so I’m waiting for that phone call from Björk.
AP: Being here in Mexico, is there anything that inspires you about Latin American culture?
LIZZO: Culture inspires me, period. And I love Mexico. It is my second time here, and I always want to come. Now I will return for my birthday, because I have been here for work now. I want to come here to play to really explore the culture.
Berenice Bautista on Twitter: https://twitter.com/berenicebau.
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