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BOTW Interview Pt. 2: Lizzo

In the second part of our catch-up with our BOTW, Minnesotan rap queen Lizzo, the fiery young vocalist recalls to us how she first met her Lizzobangers co-conspirator Lazerbeak, the jitters she had about Run the Jewels beating her to ‘Batches & Cookies’, and we ask that most pertinent of questions: in a post-Miley Cyrus world, just what exactly is a Lizzobanger?

And, in case you missed it, you can read the first part of our BOTW interview with Lizzo, here, to catch up on a prodigal musical life that’s seen the Detroit-born spitter veer from RnB trios to progressive rock bands, via epiphanies involving Destiny’s Child and Kendrick Lamar.

But first, here’s Lizzobangers’ lead single, the inimitable ‘Batches & Cookies’: 

PlanetNotion: What was it about Lazerbeak’s production that first caught your ear? What did you hear in his music that made you think ‘I have to work with this guy’?
Lizzo: I loved his use of chord progressions. I loved his huge drums; he uses massive sounding drums. I loved the big horns – that’s why I loved the TNGHT (Hudson Mohawke and Lunice) EP: it’s just horns, brass and big drums. I loved that about Lazerbeak and I remember that I saw him play at this place called Fifth Element in uptown Minneapolis; it’s kind of the Rhymesayers hub. They were playing there and apparently he was playing Lava Bangers, but I didn’t realise it at the time. He started playing with Bill and it was like superhero music; it was fanfares and drums and scratches.

Afterwards, I walked up to him, hugged him and said, ‘you’re so awesome!’ I think that’s how we met, or at least that’s how he remembers meeting me. That’s what attracted me: it’s very big and anthemic.

PN: What was the last record you listened to and immediately fell in love with?
L: I’m not gonna lie. I listened to Acid Rap by Chance the Rapper and I jammed it. For a long time, it was the only thing I listened to.

Run the Jewels, though – even more so. Killer Mike and El-P. Manchita put me onto it and I remember the reason she sent it my way was that ‘Banana Clipper’ sounds like ‘Batches & Cookies’. She played me it and I was like, ‘wait a minute. Who are these people?’ And I knew Killer Mike from his Outkast collaborations but I didn’t realise he was doing a new project. When I heard it, I thought it did sound like ‘Batches & Cookies’ and as this was before the album came out, I was all bummed out. But then I listened to the rest of the record and by the time I got to ‘Sea Legs’, which is the centrepiece of the album, I was like, ‘wow. I can’t be mad at nobody.’

PN: If ‘Lizzobanger’ was in the dictionary, what would its entry read?
L: I’m trying to imagine it, as if  I were to open up a dictionary and there it is: Lizzobanger.

Synonyms: Turned up. Righteous.

Definition: BIG.

That’s the first thing I thought: it’s big, I’m big, we’re all big. Big is a good thing.

- Alex Cull

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Lizzobangers is available now on Totally Gross National Product. You can buy it here.

Lizzo is on tour in the UK this month. Dates below:

12 Nov – Norwich, The Waterfront
13 Nov – Nottingham, Bodega Social Club
14 Nov – Birmingham, Hare & Hounds
15 Nov – Manchester, Sound Control
16 Nov – Leeds, Brudenell Social Club
17 Nov – Hull, Welly
18 Nov – Glasgow, King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut
19 Nov – Carlisle, The Brickyard
20 Nov – Bristol,  The Fleece
21 Nov – Milton Keynes, The Crawford Arms
22 Nov – Bedford, Esquires
25 Nov – Portsmouth, Wedgewood Rooms
26 Nov – London, Scala

All dates with Har Mar Superstar.

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