After her No. 1 hit “Time to Destroy” was named among the songs of the summer, Lizo is now staking her claim for the holiday season. The Grammy and Emmy-winning star will premiere her latest documentary, “Love, Lizzo,” on HBO Max for Thanksgiving, followed by a “live in concert” documentary special on New Year’s Eve.
When Difference We caught up with the entertainer on Thanksgiving Eve — just hours before the documentary’s midnight premiere — and Lizzo’s recent Emmy trophy sat just outside the zoom frame.
“It’s next to my usual bed,” she explained. “I won the Emmy and went live on tour, so I didn’t put it on my shelf. Then I did the ‘Today’ show this morning and they mentioned the Emmy, so I brought it up for their camera. It’s funny that she was there.”
The award is one of several awards Lizzo has recently won, including for her Amazon Prime Video reality competition series “Watch Out for the Big Grrrls” in September. Various The Hitmakers Record of the Year honor was awarded to the six-time Grammy nominee for the disco-tinged track “About Time for Destruction” on her album “Special.” And now there’s her HBO Max documentary, “Love, Lizo,” an intimate look at the making of the record and the moments in her life and career that led up to it.
“There is never a right time to record and tell your story,” says Lizzo. “And if I had waited to make this movie, I wouldn’t have caught Cokela and the VMAs, and ‘Truth Hurts’ number one, my life during the pandemic and the Grammys and now my arena tour. I wouldn’t have found all these images that I think are so important to my work.
Cameras began following the singer/songwriter, rapper and flutist in 2019 and chronicled everything that happened over the past three years as she rose to superstardom. But never-before-seen footage of Lizo’s childhood, including videos She I didn’t know.
“This was all new to me. I don’t have any baby footage or kid footage of myself,” she revealed. “Then my cousin was recently like, ‘We’ve got all this footage of you,’ so we got a lot for this doc. Just being able to see myself as a child, moving and hearing my father’s voice outside of the picture, something I haven’t heard since he passed. [Lizzo’s father Michael Jefferson died in 2009]. There are so many amazing shots I shouldn’t be sharing with the world, but I am.”
Directed by Doug Pray, the documentary aims to capture all aspects of the entertainer’s personality, delving into the life of her family (born Melissa Vivian Jefferson). She grew up in Detroit and then Houston before pursuing her musical dreams in Minneapolis; How she started playing the flute; Her journey to body positivity; The ups and downs in her romantic relationship; And her activism in speaking up for women, black people and other people, and the LGBTQ+ community.
Lizo’s reality is a literal one to watch, and she says she’s a bit hesitant because of the homophobia, racism, phobias and other negative comments she’s faced over the course of her career.
“There are many opinions about me,” Lizo says knowingly. “When people have a strong position on something, they open themselves up to criticism and opposition because everyone is in the middle of the road.”
She continued: “I’m going to talk about what I’m going to say again and again in this film: about shooting and my experience as a black artist. I’m worried because people have negative things to say about it, so I open myself up to more. But I don’t care anymore, you know? It’s just who I am, and I don’t argue with anyone about who I am.
Watching the finished documentary for the first time, Lizo realizes how little has changed over the years.
“I have a friend, Alexia, who you see a lot in the documentary. I’ve known her since third grade, and she’s always like, ‘The only thing that’s changed about you is that you stand up a little bit more to us, you’re more confident, but you’re the same,’” Lizo said. . “I’ve always said it’s great to have her in my life to remind me of who I am. And now that I see that footage, I think he’ll take it even further.
Basically, Lizo is still the same girl, sometimes shy and sometimes smart, but always following her love of music. “I really haven’t changed that much, and it’s nice to have a visual representation of that,” she said. “But now I’m more beautiful.”
But the timing of the documentary’s release is grim. In the film, Lizo opens up about one of the most difficult times in her life: 13 years ago, after her father died suddenly, she lost her job, an apartment and a music car. It was around Thanksgiving and she was crying in her 1998 Subaru. What would she say to that girl today?
“It was a trauma that I wish we could have avoided because I’m still sorting through that trauma. Like, that’s been shown in a lot of places in my life,” Lizo begins, admitting she still has stress around the holidays.
“I was like, ‘Damn,’ it was 2009. [and I’m] Still worried. I still feel like something is being taken away from me. I’m still scared, and I think it’s sad,” she says. “But after all these years, I am grateful to have a home. I have family, friends, people who love me, and now I can handle that situation. Where there is no control, when I have a lot of fear [before]I have a lot of peace now.
With this peace has come a great success. Wednesday afternoon, HBO Max announced the “Live in Concert” special. It serves as a coda to a revealing documentary filmed during recent stops of her “Exclusive” arena tour at the Kia Forum in Inglewood, Calif.
HBO cameras rolled on the sold-out Friday and Saturday night sets, where Lizzo, her band The Lesbians and the Little Bigs, and her dancers The Big Grrrls were joined on stage by collaborators Cardi B (“Rumor”), SZA (“Special”). ”) and Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott (who surprised Liz when she appeared on stage to perform “Tempo” on her trumpet). The cameos set social media on fire, with Lizzo sharing her gratitude for the special guests online.
“I’m a huge fan of Cardi B… but as much as I admire her as an artist, she’s unmatched as a person,” Lizzo said. It was posted on Twitter after the eventcaption Another photo Hugging ElliotFrom “Being on stage is a dream, but knowing you is unimaginable! Don’t judge us perfectly!” Lizo Duet is dubbed by SZA. As for “Sizzo Supremacy,” the duo teased, “You’ve got something special coming soon.”
Beyond the love and mutual adoration, the posts were a preview of what fans can expect when they tune in.
Speaking exclusively about the concert, Lizo said, “I’m really excited because I didn’t play when I started as a live performer. “When people realize the microphone is on, the choreography is being choreographed, the look is on, Big Grylls is on point, the band is on point, Sophia Aris.” [Lizzo’s longtime friend and DJ] And I’m at the point where people are really like, ‘Oh this is hard!’ They understand.
It’s not like she feels the need to prove herself at this point — she’s sold out arena tours, but she’s proud to “show people the level I’m at.”
“I’m going to stop talking about myself for a minute,” Lizzo said, before turning her attention to tickets or emergencies for fans who were absent from the show.
“I think people will really enjoy the concert,” she added. “A lot of people don’t have anything to do on New Year’s Eve, so now you can pop a bottle of champagne or apple juice and you can see Lizo’s show and he great show”
“An amazing show filled with lots of love, positivity and amazing music,” Bill Lizzo opened the concert by asking the audience an important question: “When was the last time you said something good about yourself?”
It’s a question she hopes will spark in the audience something that lasts beyond the set list.
“There’s a part that feels happy, that feels confident, that feels love. That part comes out in my shows,” explains Lizzo. “And then, just as the excitement of a show is fleeting, that feeling can be fleeting. This feeling they have, I want you to take this home with you, and I want you to protect it, because it’s important. You need it there [in the world]He said.
Focusing on that simple question and her own mantra — “I love you. You’re beautiful. And you can do anything” — Lizo hopes fans can “take in the amount of negativity we take in every day — too much negative news, too many negative comments, too many negative thoughts we’ve had before. .the negative programming in the media that we don’t value ourselves or see ourselves as beautiful.”
It is unfortunate that we are the ones who have to do that work, but it is necessary. “I want to create a place where people feel safe and I want to protect people. I think everyone deserves to be protected at all costs.”
That’s why she makes such an effort to get her fans to show up on her shows, to bring the house lights, and to call them in the crowd.
“I can see all the people in there, and I think people feel more connected to me if they know that,” she explains. “People who got pit tickets and were snapped at the fence, they might look at me and say, ‘Ah, she looked at me.’ I want to give the same feeling to the people who think they’re in the nosebleeds, the people who are on top of the stage, I can see it!”
Basically, Beyoncé wants the crowd to know what it felt like to see her perform the “Single Ladies” choreography during Mrs. Carter’s tour. (Lizzo has seen Beyoncé 10 or 11 times in concert, but this one was memorable).
And with “Live in Concert,” everyone in the house can feel that way. Directed by Sam Winch and produced by Kevin Beisler, the special is executive produced by Lizo (via her Lizobangers production company) and Done+Dusted’s Ian Stewart, Leah Lane and Hamish Hamilton. After producing an Emmy-winning reality series, a documentary, and a concert special, what will Lizobangers do next?
“Damn… I don’t think so, to be honest,” Lizzo replied, pondering the question for a minute before coming up with an answer.
“Lizzobangers Productions is where I’m taking a stand in my career, so whatever I do because of that production company, I own it,” she concluded, adding, “Who knows where it’s going to go? It could be a diaper like a Lizobangers product one day, but you never know, and I think that’s the beauty of what we’re doing here.
If the successes of the past few years (which included the launch of Yeti Lizzo’s shapewear with Fabletics) were any proof, the sky’s the limit.