We’re incredibly blessed to be joined by Lizzo today to celebrate the release of her brand new album, Special, with an Audacy Listening Party hosted by Julia dedicated to all of the new songs and many stories that inspired her latest effort.
LISTEN NOW: Audacy's 'Special' Listening Party with Lizzo
First up, Julia just had to ask about Lizzo’s -- count ‘em -- six Emmy nominations for her Amazon series Watch Out For The Big Grrrls. With her album about to drop, hearing the Emmys news was overwhelming, to say the least. “I was like, ‘Oh God, I don’t think I can handle all of this!’ It feels like a big celebration and… I’m goin’ to the Emmys, bi***!”
“I’ve been working on ‘Special’ for three years… it’s changed a lot,” Lizzo explains, given that passage of time included both pre and post pandemic vibes. “I’ve written like three different albums, and I thought I had it every single time. “I was like, ‘This is it! This is the hit!’ And my label was like, ‘keep going… that’s not it b****!’ I’m so glad I was patient with myself, because you can’t rush greatness.”
Lizzo - Special tracklist
About Damn Time
2 Be Loved
I Love You Bitch
Break Up Twice
If You Love Me
Looking at the list of songs on Special, the closing track “Coldplay” stands out as a very intimate song for Julia. “Everyone knows who Coldplay is, they’re an incredible band,” Lizzo explains. “They have a song called, ‘Yellow’ ... and I was on a trip with somebody special, and I was singing that song. I was so emotional, and I went and wrote a song inspired by a moment.” She says singer Chris Martin heard it and gave his approval, rather, “gave me his blessing. It’s a big deal,” she admits.
Lizzo tripped up when mentioning Martin, revealing again her obsession with actor Chris Evans. “Man, don’t get me started on Chris Evans. He was supposed to play piano on the album," she laughs. "So, when he hears the piano, just know that could’ve been you, Chris!”
Speaking of the success of her hit single “About Damn Time,” Lizzo admits her “expectations were low,” because if it "doesn’t go number one, it’s gonna hurt your feelings.” Her self-worth, however “was high.” Lizzo adds, “this was literally the last song on the album, and I wrote it in February of 2022. Like, it just happened, and I turned in my album in March. People were like, ‘This is the one!'”
“I love it," she says. "I mean, I love all my babies, my songs. I write them, I produce them, I sing them, I live them. So, they’re all mine, I love them equally.” Seeing the impact of “About Damn Time,” however, has been “incredible" for her. “I was like, ‘oh you cute!' You’re the cute baby now. You go stand in front!”
The true test of a bona fide hit though, is whether or not it’s Kidz Bop-able. Lizzo says she could see the “cinnamon roll” verse getting its chance, but that second verse is going to need some work. She offered up some lyrical replacements, although we think her 5% on that one isn’t looking so certain.
Sealing the Beastie Boys sample for her latest single, “Grrrls,” proved to be the right move too. “It’s pretty cool,” she says. “It’s like top 10 copyright of all time -- the ‘Girls’ sample -- and the Beastie Boys cleared it. I feel like a boss, they believed in me. They could’ve easily said, ’No, hell no!’ I have a song called ‘Boys’ … so I felt like I had to make a song called ‘Girls,’ duh! It’s part two!”
Moving steadily along through the album, the track “2 Be Loved,” Lizzo says, “is an ode to self-love. It really is, because it’s like, you do the gritty work of looking in the mirror and seeing yourself for who you really are and accepting that person. And not just accepting that person, but loving that person. Then you step out in the real world and it’s like, ‘OK, now y’all gotta love me.!’ … It’s time to be loved back, you know, by the world and by people. This song is about that scary moment where you’re stepping outside that comfort zone of self-love, and you’re like, ‘Am I ready to be loved?’”
“I think self-love is a journey; I think love is a journey. Relationships are work and it’s not a destination,” Lizzo adds. “You don’t just get there and you’re like ‘everything’s great.’ We’ve all been through it; you live and you learn. You have good days and bad days, and this was just one of those days where I was like, ‘What am I gonna do?!!’”
The record’s title track, “Special,” she feels, “is a love letter, it really is! I feel like this whole album is a love letter, in parts, to different people; my friends, my family, my mmMmm, myself, the world, my fans -- the Lizzbians. ‘Everybody’s Gay,’ haven’t you heard the song? -- and so, ‘Special’ I think summed it up beautifully. Like, in case nobody told you today, you’re special.”
“I needed it,” Lizzo admits. “I wrote it when I needed it the most. I dropped ‘Rumors’ and had received a lot of, you know, mean comments on the Internet. I was like, ‘whoa!’ I’ve never been, post- “Truth Hurts” Lizzo, exposed to that kind of trolling. It’s OK, girl I signed up for it, I’m famous. It’s all good. But I wrote the song to help myself so that maybe others can help themselves when they’re feeling it… This song is like a suit of armor you can put on to remind yourself how ‘Special’ and amazing you are.”
Don't forget, Lizzo is coming to a city near you on her Special Tour kicking off on September 23 in Sunrise, FL, and running through November 18 in Los Angeles! Latto will be performing as the supporting act throughout the trek.
Get in the mood now with all of Lizzo’s faves, personally programmed and hand-selected featuring the tracks that the "Turth Hurts" singer constantly has on repeat. From Chole X Halle hits to Drake deep cuts, Lizzo Loves You offers a wide variety of music that has consistently inspired the GRAMMY-winning artist. Only on Audacy!