A powerful rising voice in the hip-hop/R&B underground, Detroit-born Lizzo is making waves with her grrrl power and a voice that could fill any room. Live Nation TV got the chance to sit down with Lizzo, whose real name is Melissa Jefferson, and talk about Beyoncé, her Big Grrrls and other influences she’s had along the way. Watch the footage above to hear from the rapstress who’s changing the game.
Jefferson grew up in Houston, Texas, and took her southern flair to Minneapolis, where she first pursued a career in music, performing as Lizzo & the Larva Ink and The Chalice. “Houston had a huge influence on my music and my sound,” Lizzo explained in an interview with Vibe Magazine. “It was the city that turned me into a rapper because rap and screwed-up music was happening. It was just an amazing time to be young, ready and hungry.”
Lizzo’s first album, Lizzobangers, was an announcement to the world that Lizzo had arrived and she was here to stay. Her wavy rhymes over '90s-style breakbeats landed her right in the arms of music critics and alt-rap listeners across the states. Jefferson's second full-length album Big Grrrl Small World established her range as an artist and the message of liberation and self-love that oozes from her work.
Inspired by the Big Grrrl Small World era, Lizzo took to calling her dancers on stage Big Grrrls. In an interview with Austin360, she reveals where all the confidence and need to spread positivity amongst women like that came from. "I realize that the way that I look isn’t gonna change. I’m a black woman with a big body and if I don’t make the best of that, then I’m gonna make the worst of life. So I feel good and I feel like a lot of women didn’t have somebody, at least in my genre to look up to like that. So I’ma just keep doing me and the haters are gonna be haters.”
After the success of her Big Grrrl’s era, Lizzo moved onto a major label release. Her Coconut Oil EP was released on Atlantic Records early October and the singer just embarked on a 14-city tour to back the EP, which kicked off yesterday in Philadelphia.
Lizzo’s Coconut Oil Tour Dates for 2016-17:
12/1 - New York, NY @ The Bowery Ballroom
12/3 - Washington, DC @ U Street Music Hall
12/4 - Allston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall
12/6 - Toronto, CAN @ Velvet Underground
12/7 - Detroit, MI @ El Club
12/8 - Chicago, IL @ Subterranean
12/10 - Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
12/11 - Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
1/20 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo
1/21 - San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
1/27 - Vancouver, CAN @ Alexander Gastown
1/28 - Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile
1/29 - Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge