When you love yourself, anything becomes possible. Channeling boundless self-confidence through a downright earth-quaking voice, colorful persona, and undeniable star power, Lizzo struts into the spotlight and steps up with a whole lot of sass, spirit, and soul. Embracing her vocal range like never before and celebrating herself to the fullest, she speaks her mind, censors nothing, and delivers an enviable level of honesty, pure passion, and fresh fire. She's worked towards this moment since the release of her 2016 EP, Coconut Oil, which delivered such hits as "Good As Hell," "Phone," "Water Me," and "Truth Hurts." Building on enthusiastic critical acclaim and a rapidly growing fan base, 2018 represented a high watermark for the Detroit-born and Houston-raised songstress. A string of singles hit maximum velocity as "Boys" took the culture by storm. A definitive and inescapable anthem for 2018, it closed out the year on many a Best Of list.
Lizzo hit the studio in late 2018 to record her highly anticipated third full-length, Cuz I Love You. For the first time, she enlisted the production talents of X Ambassadors' Sam Harris. Recording in a "haunted ass studio," the producer encouraged her to break out of her comfort zone. "He reached inside of me and brought out a vulnerability I didn't realize I had," she says. "He called out my lyrics by name and pulled them out of my life experiences." Galvanized by those sessions, she also reteamed with an old friend Oak Felder [Rihanna, Alessia Cara, Kehlani] as well as longtime collaborator Ricky Reed [Meghan Trainor, Halsey]. She introduced this chapter with "Juice." Eighties-style synths slink hand-in-hand with a steady beat before climaxing on funky guitar and boisterous horns as Lizzo drops eyebrow-raising lines. Whether it's the emotionally charged "Jerome" or dynamically delicate "Crybaby," she clings to an overarching message on Cuz I Love You intimated by the title.
"I want people to know this process is all because I love them – and because I love me," Lizzo says. "It's a double-sided statement. You can say Cuz I Love You to millions of people, or you can say it to yourself in the mirror. It's about what you go through when you're trying to love yourself in a world that makes it so hard. You can persevere and come out stronger on the other side though." In the end, Lizzo's message of empowerment and love rings true because it comes straight from the heart. "When you listen to this, I want you to know you're not alone," she leaves off. "I want you to hear my songs and feel a connection to me. I hope you can apply what I'm saying to your own life and maybe have a better day. Share this experience with me. Celebrate who you are. If I can change the world for the better one song at a time, I'm cool."