From The VMA’S Pre-Show Red Carpet to MTV’s Wonderland to
Coconut Oil

Rapper and pop artist Lizzo has had a busy couple of months. The vivacious and talented artist hosted the VMA’s pre-show red carpet event and is currently starring in MTV’s newest music series, “Wonderland,” which was previewed the night of the MTV awards. She is also about to release her newest album, “Coconut Oil,” set for October 7.

Recognized for her compelling lyrical messages and her powerful voice, Lizzo also studied classical flute. She recently appeared on CBS’ “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” supporting her “Big GRRRL Small World” album, and promises to tour right after “Wonderland.”

Nicknamed “Lizzo” by her friends, she was enlightening and fun to speak with. One doesn’t need a crystal ball to predict that this artist will go far!

Congratulations on hosting the VMA’s red carpet. What was it like for you?
It was super exciting. I’ve never been to an awards show before. This is my first award show, and it was a big deal.

I bet it was. Was there anyone in particular that you had fun interviewing?
I loved interviewing Desiigner. We had such a great time freestyling together.

Many people who rap have a story. Do you have a story?
I mean, I definitely do! You can feel it in my music. All of my albums tell a story, all the way up until now, to “Coconut Oil.” It tells the story of self-discovery and of self-love. I think that I’m trying to cope with myself, and music is kind of a coping method.

Music is a good coping mechanism. How and when did you decide to make music your career?
I have always been either writing or playing music, since I was nine years old. I was a flute player all the way through college. So I was doing music since I was a child.

They call you an “alternative” rapper. What does the alternative refer to?
You know, I don’t know what they mean. I think that genres are less for the artist and more for the people that listen to the artists. They put me in so many different genres at this point I’ve decided to call myself a multi-genre artist. I just make what I’m making, and I think “Coconut Oil” will be indicative of that. You will hear songs that sound like I’m in the club. You will hear songs with my flute in it. There’s all sorts of genres in this upcoming project.

I’ve actually heard it, and love it.
Yay! Thank you!

Do you plan on touring in support of the EP?
We’re going on tour after “Wonderland,” in December.

Are you planning on hitting New York?
Oh, of course I’m coming to New York. I love New York!

How do you personally define music?

I think that music is—I actually learned this from an amazing and talented producer—music is the only art form that allows humans to convey exactly how they feel emotionally, and have the other person understand. I think that music is a means of emotional communication and connection.

I love that answer. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I really can’t see myself, because I’m covered in so many awards and money. No, I want to work. I want to create. I think that everyone who makes it this far in the industry has so many different talents. I think that the spotlight is on one particular talent, but most of the people you see are very multi-talented, like Donald Glover. He’s not only a comedian, but a rapper, a director and an artist. I feel like I’m going to utilize all of the talents I was born with. So in 10 years you might see me in Cirque du Soleil.

If somebody told you that you couldn’t do music anymore, what would you do to be creative?
I would write. When I was younger I used to write short stories and fantasy novels. If I couldn’t make music, I would write.

I like that answer the best, because that’s what I do.
I know…hello…

I heard your song “My Skin,” and to me it was so touching it made me cry. What was your inspiration for that song?
I wrote “My Skin”, because I was at this interview where I had to take off all my clothes. They got to the point where they asked me what was my favorite body part, and I couldn’t tell them. They asked what was my favorite part about myself, and I told them it was my personality. They said no, it had to be a body part. I really had to think about it, and I had just had an accident where I scratched up my skin. My friend had remarked on how beautiful my skin was! So I told them it was my skin, and I realized as I was saying it, there was so much more of me, like the texture of my skin, and I started realizing how superficial that was. Like, my skin is good, but when I think about what that means, or how loaded that statement is—the color, the connotation of oppression—like, there are so many things that are in my skin, and involving my skin. I realized that I needed to create a song that celebrated that. A producer put a beat on it, and with all the things going on in the world I just let the words come out of my mouth. I wrote it not with a piece of paper, but by singing into the microphone.

When you write a song, do you tend to put it down on paper, or you just sing it from your head?
I used to. Now all the songs that I’ve been writing in the studio this year since I moved to L.A., I call it, “from God’s words to my ears, to the microphone.” It’s kind of like those first thoughts I have. I will think of a funny line sometimes, and I will write it down, but I prefer to start fresh.

If you could say anything in the world to your fans, what would it be?
Thank you, and let’s grow together.

Is there anything else that you would like to promote?
“Coconut Oil” is coming out, and Wonderland, every Thursday on MTV.

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Eileen Shapiro

Best selling author of "The Star Trek Medical Reference Manual", and feature celebrity correspondent for Get Out Magazine, Louder Than War, and Huffington Post contributor, I've interviewed artists from Adam Ant, Cyndi Lauper, and Annie Lennox to Jennifer Hudson, Rick Springfield, LeAnn Rimes, and thousands in between. My interviews challenge the threat of imagination....

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