Extended interview: Lizzo on her flute and being a "band geek"

Web Exclusive: Extended conversation with Lizzo

In this extended transcript of correspondent Tracy Smith's interview with Lizzo, the singer-songwriter-rapper talks about her flute, which not only has a name but also its own Instagram account; her life's musical journey, from classical to rap to #1 Billboard artist; and her difficult metamorphosis as an artist.


LIZZO: I started playing flute in intermediate school, which is, like, fifth and sixth grade here. We had a really cool band (LAUGHS) at Youngblood Intermediate. My band director, he would make us play all the songs on the radio, and we would dance. So, when we had concerts in the gym, the parents would come. And they would just, like, get lit and be dancin' in the stands. And it was like a concert. So, everybody wanted to be in band.

TRACY SMITH: Band was cool?

LIZZO: It was cool in fifth and sixth grade. (LAUGHS)

TRACY SMITH: And then?

LIZZO: And then all of a sudden everybody left in, like, middle school, high school. But I stayed in it. So, I remember in the fifth grade, I just wanted to be really good. I was, like, "I want to be really good at the flute. Everybody else is so bad." And it was so hard to be good at it. It's a very difficult instrument. I became, like, obsessed with being good.

TRACY SMITH: How much did you practice?

LIZZO: A lot. Like, that time of my life, I was playing a lot by ear. But I wouldn't play, like, songs on the radio. I would play, like, James Galway, like, "The Man with the Golden Flute." And I would play the CD. And I would have the sheet music. And I would try to, like, play the sheet music. But it was so hard that I learned it by ear first. And then I would learn how to read the notation. So, I was kind of, like, backwards.

lizzo-with-tracy-smith-620.jpg
The singer Lizzo with correspondent Tracy Smith. CBS News

TRACY SMITH: So you did it in reverse?

LIZZO: Yeah.

TRACY SMITH: You learned it by ear first and then you learned the notes, how to read music?

LIZZO: Right. Yes. But I learned how to play, like, "The Carnival of Venice," which is, like, this really showboaty, braggadocious flute virtuosic solo piece by the seventh grade. That was my eighth grade audition piece for high school, which was insane.

And I learned that, like, by osmosis basically, by listening to it, by tryin' to get the sounds down. And then I would read the sheet music. I wanted to be the best (LAUGHS) at a very young age.

So, it was kind of reverse. And, like, by the time I got private lessons, they were like, "Whoa, like, where did you learn technique? "You're like a wild horse. And that's an amazing thing, 'cause you have all this power. And you have all this style. But we need to give you some technique." And so I had to actually go back and learn how to, like, play notes properly when I got older. (LAUGHS) It's wild.

TRACY SMITH: I know you said at first band was cool. And then it wasn't so cool anymore?

LIZZO: Yeah, you know, everybody, you know, grew up. And, you know, you get the stigma, like, band geek or band nerd. And people start to drop out and get other extracurriculars. A lot of people who were in band with me in fifth grade, a lot of the dudes became athletes. They played football.

TRACY SMITH: But you stuck with it?

LIZZO: I stuck with it.

TRACY SMITH: And were you a band geek?

LIZZO: Yeah. Yeah. I am. And I don't think you're a band geek if you're just in band. I was a band geek, because I took band to the next level. Like, (LAUGHS) I would voluntarily go to band camp.

TRACY SMITH: Did you think flute would be the career?

LIZZO: Yes. I had, like, dreams of being in a symphony. And I was training, or I was studying with the principal flutist for the Houston Ballet since junior year of high school. So, she had put in my mind that I was gonna go to Paris after U of H, and study at the Paris Conservatory, and I was gonna really hone in my flute skills.

And I really saw myself sitting in a symphony. Like, I wanted that. I didn't even want to be, like, a soloist. There are flute soloists that are poppin' off. And they stand in front of a big crowds. And they just play with a pianist. That terrified me.

TRACY SMITH: Really?

LIZZO: I didn't like that at all.

TRACY SMITH: Why?

LIZZO: It's a lot of work. You gotta practice for a long time to get it right. I didn't like that part. I really loved sitting in a symphony and sitting in an ensemble and playing music, and I would get goosebumps when we would play pieces. My dad's friends would come over. He would be like, "All right, play that song for them." And I would, like, play the new cool fast song that I learned. I'm a very showy flute player though. I like to show off. Like, the faster and the more intricate the flute part is, the better.

TRACY SMITH: That's what you wanted to do, the challenging –

LIZZO: Is it raining?

TRACY SMITH: It's raining, yes. Yes. And I have to say that this is – you like the rain?

LIZZO: It's Houston, baby. (LAUGHS) That's just the sky is sweatin'. That's it.

TRACY SMITH: A lot of people think of high school as a struggle. But for you it was college that was when you started to struggle?

LIZZO: Well, yeah. I think with high school identity and who you are in the world is a little bit more narrow. And I think that you're at the mercy of your peers more so in high school and what they think of you. Versus, like, when you're dumped into a university or you're dumped into this place with all these people from all over the world, your identity becomes a little bit more broad. And it gets a little harder to find your footing and find yourself. Because--

TRACY SMITH: To figure out who you are?

LIZZO: Yeah, suddenly you have all of these, like, training wheels taken off of your personality. And you don't have those people that you grew up with to lean back on. And I was insecure about that. Like, there are bonds that I wanted to make, but I didn't even know how to make. And especially in marching band, I was more insecure in this marching band, 'cause I was that bitch in high school and –

TRACY SMITH: Meaning?

LIZZO: -- middle school.

TRACY SMITH: What do you mean?

LIZZO: I was first chair, captain, flute section leader, always gettin' the solos, piccolo player, baddest bitch on the field. They was talkin' 'bout me in the street. They was like, "Well, I heard about you. You that piccolo player from Alief." [A neighborhood in Houston.]  "Yeah, boy."  I was that bitch. I would show up to the state competitions, lookin' all jazzy. Like, I would have my cute outfits on. And they'd be like, "Oh my God, why you dressed up for these?"

TRACY SMITH: You were number one?

LIZZO: Yeah, but then when you put me, you know, into a bigger pond, I wasn't number one. And I had to sit back. And I had to listen to people who I'd never met before. And I had to take orders. And marching band, that's what I was tellin' them in there. It is a community. It is a family. It's an army. (LAUGHS)

TRACY SMITH: What do you think band gave you?

LIZZO: An outlet for my passion for music. I don't think I would have known how to articulate my passion for music in a creative way outside of just hearing songs in my head. (THUNDER CLAP) Wow, this is amazing. (LAUGHS) Okay, God. (LAUGHS)

It gave me an outlet for my passion for music for sure. It gave me my collaborative nature. Like, I love to collaborate. Even when I lived in Minneapolis and I was makin' all these little girl groups. And (LAUGHS) I would go in the studio. And there would just be, like, seven or six people in there. We would all just make a musical gumbo.

That's marching band. That's being in an ensemble. That's leaning on somebody and needing that support. I believe in the one sound. Everybody comin' together to make that one sound.

TRACY SMITH: So, how did your dream change from playing in a symphony to being Lizzo?

LIZZO: It was hard. I left college. I basically had to choose between flute or this other lifestyle that I was chasing, where I was up super-late with my friends, goin' to parties, tryin' to rap at shows, and (SIGHS) and then waking up early, gettin' to the band hall, rehearsing, being on the field, taking math class, which was torture.

I was juggling a lot of lifestyles. And simultaneously, in my personal life, my family was being, you know, torn apart. So, I didn't really have that type of support at that time in my life. And my father had started getting sick. And my mom moved away, because she needed to make money to support my dad and what he was going through and support her children.

It was a lot. And eventually I think I just kind of froze. I left music. I left flute, which was the most embarrassing, most shameful thing that I feel like I could have ever done. 'Cause flute was my whole life. And I kind of just disappeared. I went to stay with my mom for a little bit, just for a summer. And I just disappeared.

TRACY SMITH: What do you mean disappeared?

LIZZO: I stopped communicating with all of my friends. I stopped talking. (LAUGHS) I stopped. I really stopped participating in, like, the real world or what I thought the real world was. I had a whole life in Houston. And when I gave up on flute and when I stopped talking to my friends, I feel like, that life just vanished.

TRACY SMITH: So what'd you do?

LIZZO: I don't know. I feel like I took a few months to go inside of myself and figure out what I was gonna do with my life, who I wanted to be. And for some really weird reason, I wanted to be a singer. And I hadn't sang any time before that. I rapped, played the flute, written songs, but never sang.

TRACY SMITH: Did you sing in church growin' up?

LIZZO: Nope.

TRACY SMITH: No?

LIZZO: None of that. So, I (LAUGHS) decided I wanted to be a singer. So, I would sing "B'Day" by Beyoncé (LAUGHS) at night, by myself, outside.

TRACY SMITH: Outside? What do you mean outside? Where would you stand?

LIZZO: (LAUGHS) So my mom, they had this, like, place in Aurora, Colorado. And at night, I would walk out. And I would hike at, like, 10:00 p.m. And it's, like, kind of, like, rural. And I would just listen to "B'Day." And I would walk and sing.

TRACY SMITH: Walk and sing?

LIZZO: I would walk and sing. And it was not good. (LAUGHS) It was not good, I promise. There's stuff now, there's notes that I can hit now. But back then I wasn't hittin' them notes. And I was like –

TRACY SMITH: You weren't hitting the …?

LIZZO: I was delusional. (LAUGHS) But I wanted to be a singer. And I was like, "That's what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna go back to Houston. I'm gonna be a singer." So, in three months, I went back to Houston. And I tried it all over again. (LAUGHS)

TRACY SMITH: And what happened?

LIZZO: Well, that was when I started becoming Lizzo and who I am today. Like, I was Lizzo in middle school. Lizzo in high school, as, like, a nickname. But I was like, "I am Lizzo." You know? And I joined a rock band. First thing I did when I got back, I joined this rock band.

TRACY SMITH: As a singer?

LIZZO: As a singer. And the crazy thing for me was I was so shy. I was so nervous. But I was like, "These people don't know who I am. These people have never met me before. This is your opportunity to just go crazy." And I did. 'Cause I was like, "You can't judge me. You have no reference." So, I just went off and just –

TRACY SMITH: And it worked?

LIZZO: And they were like, "We don't know what you said, but you killed it. So, you're in the band." And I was like, "Yeah." They were on Craigslist. I auditioned.

TRACY SMITH: You found the band on Craigslist?

LIZZO: I did. (LAUGHS) I did.

TRACY SMITH: And it worked?

LIZZO: And it worked. That was fun. That was fun. I got confidence to be a front woman. I had confidence to express myself. I found how far my voice could go. I did a lot of screaming back then. (LAUGHS)

TRACY SMITH: Just kind of testing to see?

LIZZO: Yeah, like, the soulful voice that you hear now, I had to run before I could walk. So, I was runnin', just like with the flute. I started off like a wild horse. And then my job, or my life, was refining, or my journey was refining. So, I had to refine my flute sound. And I had to refine my singing voice, too.

'Cause it was like (MAKES NOISE) to, like, "Okay, reel it in. This is not The Mars Volta. Like, (LAUGH) find some tone. Find your tone." And so I did. (LAUGHS) It was wild. There's pictures of me, like, on the floor rollin' around, I was so nervous to sing. So I would, like, drink a bunch of whiskey and get really drunk. And I would just go. And I'd be like (MAKES NOISE). It was crazy.

TRACY SMITH: So, the self-confidence, like when you were younger, did you have self-confidence?

LIZZO: Well, I mean, when I was born. And then, (LAUGHS) –

TRACY SMITH: And then?

LIZZO: When I was precious and innocent. And then the world took my self-confidence away from me. Or, that's not true; the world stacked all of these insecurities on top of my self-confidence. So, I had, like, so many layers of –

TRACY SMITH: Like what? What were you insecure about?

LIZZO: I was insecure about who, like, me. I was, like, "Wow, this is it. This is what I was given in this world." I was insecure about my body. I was insecure about my hair, my smile, you know? I would be like (LAUGHS), I was insecure about my personality. 'Cause I was so different. I was so nerdy, kind of dorky. I was insecure about the way that I talk. I was insecure about my voice. Everything.

TRACY SMITH: So how did it change? How did you develop the self-confidence?

LIZZO: Well, I think it was years of tearing away all of those insecurities. I think that people think your self-confidence is taken away from you. But that's not true. Or that people think that, like, we don't have confidence at the bottom of this, you know? Or we have nothing, you know what I mean?

But we really just have, like, layers and layers and layers and years of triggering comments. And micro-aggressive comments that we don't even realize are hurting us. But it's almost like a "I don't want to exist" type of feeling. But it's not because you hate yourself. But you just are done.

And I never really had confidence that I could access. So, at the end of the day, when it was like, "Well, I have nothing on this end and nothing on this end. What do I even have?" And I think that I had just kind of zeroed out.

I'm so fortunate that there have been people put in my life that support me, like, genuinely support me and care about me. And not only do they want to support me, they know how to. And I think that that's a big deal, because –

TRACY SMITH: That's huge.

LIZZO: In my mind, I was like, "Can't nobody support me. Don't none of y'all know how to take care of me." Even to my family.

TRACY SMITH: You were the only one?

LIZZO: Well, yeah.

TRACY SMITH: We just talked to Taylor Swift, who's very much, like, it's a diary what she sings about, right? It's all very personal. What inspires you?

LIZZO: Oh my God, conversation. Conversation inspires me. The first song I ever put out as a solo artist was called "Batches and Cookies." And I remember me and my best friend, we were walkin' down the street. And she's featured on the song, too. We walkin' down the street. And I was like, "I got my batches and cookies. And that's all I need, girl."

'Cause I guess I had some cookies with me. And I don't even know why I said it like that. And she was like, "You need to write that down. Like, that's a lyric." And I put it in a song. (SINGING) "I got my batches and cookies. I got my what?" And ever since then, I'm like, "Yo, like, this conversation--" like, when you listen to my songs, it feels like you're having a conversation with me.

And it's because everything that I say or everything that I go through or the funny things that my friends say or the poignant things that my friends.

Lizzo performs "Batches and Cookies":

Lizzo - Batches & Cookies - Audiotree Live by Audiotree on YouTube

TRACY SMITH: And maybe that's why people repeat your lyrics probably more than anyone else's lyrics, right?

LIZZO: (LAUGHS) Yeah.

TRACY SMITH: You must hear that constantly, people throwing them back at you, right?

LIZZO: Everyone's called themselves "that bitch," but have they called themselves "100% that bitch." (LAUGHS) It's just things like that that make it more special. (LAUGHS)

TRACY SMITH: There's a mantra that you have your live audiences repeat a lot. "I love you. You're beautiful. And you can do anything." Why do you have people repeat that?

LIZZO: I know now, but I don't know why when I started it. When I'm on stage and I'm talking, it feels like a TED Talk, like an unrehearsed TED Talk. Every crowd is different. I'm like, "Hey, girl, what's goin' on today?" And then whatever's goin' on in my life, I kind of bring it out.

And I remember (SIGHS) I can't remember the first time I said, "I love you. You're beautiful. And you can do anything," to a crowd. But I felt like those people needed to say that. I felt like there was somebody out there that needed to hear those words. And it kind of stuck from then on.

And I used to just say, "Can you guys say that to yourselves every night when you go home, when you look in the mirror?" It started as that. And they were like, "Yeah." And then it became this thing where it was like, "Say it. Now it say to your neighbor." And they turn to their neighbor.

And then once I was really sad on tour. I think it was this year. I was so (LAUGHS) tired. I was so tired. I was like, "I don't feel like myself." And I was like, "Can you guys say it to me? 'Cause I really need to hear it." And they started saying it to me. And I was like, "Oh my God, this feels incredible."

So now I know why guys like this so much. (LAUGHS) It feels good. Everything about the Lizzo experience, whether you're listening to my music, watching a music video, or at a live show feels good. I don't know, things like that just make my live show even more memorable and special and effective.

Like, I don't want that feel-good moment to end once you walk out of the door, you know? I want you to take this moment that you're feeling, and I want it to be a part of your life forever. People send me comments on the internet. And this one girl, she said, "I just want to let y'all know something. I've struggled with, you know, talking badly to myself."

And everyone does. Like, we do it in ways we don't even realize. Like, "Ah, I'm so stupid. I forgot. I'm so dumb. I'm so sorry." And they're like, "You're not dumb. Don't call yourself stupid." Like, you don't even realize, like, nobody tells you to not say that, because we all say that.

Or if you're lookin' in the mirror. And you're like, "I look terrible." And your friends are like, "No, you don't. You look good." But, like, we do this to ourselves all the time. And she was like, "I've struggled with talking badly to myself my whole life. And after one of Lizzo's concerts, I just started saying, 'I love you. You're beautiful. And you can do anything,' to the mirror."

And she was like, "It felt really silly at first, but I kept doing it. And now you will not even believe the difference that it makes in the way you speak to yourself." Like, I went from saying things like, "You look terrible," to they say, "No, you don't. You look beautiful." Or reminding myself, "You know what? Guess what, you deserve this today." Like, it just started this self-dialogue that people don't really have, that we should have more of. 'Cause we talk terrible to ourselves. And why shouldn't we talk good to ourselves, you know?

Here's how I describe, like, who I am in life. Like, you get a lot [of] negative things that happen to you. You get a lot of engrams or trauma in your life. You also have the opposite of that. You have good moments, highlights. But you can't really scrape away that trauma. That trauma just can't disappear. You can't just throw it in the trash. Like, you have to go back to that trauma and just try to make some sense of it, you know? And I feel like with all of the things that threatened to cover up my confidence (and it always has and that everyone always has on the inside) I had to address every layer of insecurity.

So, my body shaming: I would body shame myself every single day. "Why can't I fit this? Or why does my body look like that? Why can't my back be flat and straight like my sister's? Or why are my arms so jiggly and lumpy?" Like, when I'm looking at my body and I'm shaming every little thing about it, I have to look at all of those things that I'm shaming. And I have to find love in those things.

TRACY SMITH: What do you think about being this kind of role model for body positivity?

LIZZO: I get nervous sometimes, because I don't want things to become trendy.

TRACY SMITH: Because if body positivity's in now, the fear is that at some point it won't be anymore?

LIZZO: Right, right. And that is something that I try to combat every day, not on a personal, like, individual level, just in general. By making sure that I'm putting myself out there in the world as this undeniable thing that is autonomous to me. And I'm not, like, subscribing to any type of hashtag or any particular movement. I don't move with other people. I just move with myself in my own lane.

So it's not like, "Oh, all those girls that were body positive, you know?" But it's like, "No, then there was Lizzo, who shot through during this body positive movement and made herself an undeniable piece of culture and an undeniable piece of history and music, in the industry."

TRACY SMITH: So, I want to talk about the metamorphosis of the music. Because you said basically you quit flute?

LIZZO: Yes.

TRACY SMITH: And now flute is clearly back in your life.

LIZZO: Girl, Sasha's back.

TRACY SMITH: Big in your music. Sasha, the name of your flute, back. So, explain to me how those reconciled. How did flute come back?

LIZZO: (LAUGHS) Well, flute never technically left. The career in flute, where I was like, "I'm gonna be a concert flautist. That is my life." (SIGHS) Because I kind of snuck the flute in everything that I did.

TRACY SMITH: You had to sneak the flute a little bit in the beginning, yeah?

LIZZO: The first time I played the flute was on the song dedicated to my father. Because he wanted me to play the flute so bad. And so there was this breakdown in the song. And I would pull the flute out. And I'd go (MAKES NOISE). And I went crazy. Oh my God, I played the flute in honor and tribute to him. And people went crazy. People went wild. And it made me feel close to him. It made me feel like I was doing the right thing. And, you know, it made me feel like I was continuing the legacy that he wanted for me.

And once I started bringin' the flute back in that way (LAUGHS) and she was always Sasha. I named her Sasha after Beyoncé during the "I Am" era, where she was "I am Sasha Fierce." So, she's been around for that long. (LAUGHS) So, I played in the rock band. But then when I left the rock band, I didn't think the flute fit in my other worlds, like my electropop world or my R & B girl group world. Flute didn't really fit there.

And then when Lizzobangers, my first, like, project came out, funny enough all of the samples on the album we had to replay. And a lot of them were flute. Like, the producer, Lazerbeak, used a lot of flute. So I had to go in and replay everything.

So, Sasha's been on almost every project, literally every project I've ever done. But I'd never played her live. Okay, so then the next project was "Big Grrrl Small World." And I did this flute solo on one of the songs, but we, like, played around with it, and made it all weird, so you can't really hear that it's a flute. It's just musical.

And then on "Coconut Oil," of course, I play the flute on the intro of the song "Coconut Oil." And then, of course, Sasha has her own solo (LAUGHS) on "Cuz I Love You," on "Heaven Help Me." (LAUGHS) But I didn't start playing the flute on stage until "Coconut Oil," again, as a solo artist.

Lizzo performs "Heaven Help Me," from her album, "Cuz I Love You":

Lizzo - Heaven Help Me (Official Audio) by Lizzo Music on YouTube

TRACY SMITH: And how does it feel now to play the flute on stage?

LIZZO: Oh my God, the flute. She, Sasha, has really taken a life of her own. She has her own fans. It feels incredible. Like, they can't wait to see Sasha. Like, when the flute comes out, like, one of the dancers always brings her out, and they just go (SCREAMING).

TRACY SMITH: The fans go crazy for the flute?

LIZZO: They go crazy. And then I got the flute. And then they all just filmin' it. And they're, like, they tag her on her Instagram. SashaBeFluting is her Instagram page.

TRACY SMITH: Yeah, your flute has your own Instagram page.

LIZZO: She's got like, she has 200,000 followers, I think. I think she's got over 200,000 followers.

TRACY SMITH: That's a ridiculous number.

LIZZO: She's got over 200,000 followers. And she's not verified. This is insane. (LAUGHS) But yeah, they go crazy for her.

TRACY SMITH: It's kind of cool that the worlds came together, you know?

LIZZO: Uh-huh. Well, I think that was my father for sure. He always told me that the flute was the way. And I always told him that it was not cool. And I was like, "Dad, no, that's not gonna be the thing that gets me…" and I was so ashamed of it for a long time. And then as soon as I started playing the flute again on stage, like, well, I was doin' flute on my Instagram videos first. And I did the (MAKES NOISE). I did "Carnival of Venice." And then I did the A$AP Rocky flute and twerk. That started going viral. And then someone made a song from it. "The Flute & Chute" song. And then I played that on stage. And I played the flute. And then I hit the chute. And then everybody went crazy. The whole world I feel like discovered me and didn't know who I was, but just discovered me and fell in love with me. And I literally talked to my mom about this. Like, I was like, "I literally almost could hear my dad being like, 'I told you!'" (LAUGHS)

TRACY SMITH: "The flute's the way. I told you."

LIZZO: The flute is the way. It took me so long. But, you know, I always talk about this. Like, it's a testament to who you are. When you hide who you are, it makes it harder for people to get to know you and to love you. But as soon as you are unashamed of who you are – I was so nervous that people would call me a nerd or think I wasn't cool. But as soon as I showed the world all of me, that's when they started to fall in love with me.

TRACY SMITH: And we do love you. (LAUGHS)  So, this is kind of an obvious question, but what do you think your dad would think of this?

LIZZO: Oh my God. You know, I know he's extremely proud of me right now. I know that sometimes I have dreams where he's, like, managing me. (LAUGHS) And I'm like, "Dad, stop." (LAUGHS) But that's what he would have done. He would have tried to manage me and be all up in the Kool-Aid.

But he's very proud of me. He propels me all the time. Like, I'm definitely in a place where for the first time in my life, I'm smelling the roses. Like, I've worked really hard my whole life. Like, I've had my nose to the grindstone. And I have just been go, go, go, go, go. "You're not there yet. You're not there yet. What's next?"

And this year, I promised myself in December, I was like, "All next year, I'm just going to make more milestones and appreciate every single moment." And in those moments where I'm actually appreciating what I've accomplished, that's when I see him. That's when I see my dad. That's when I get to actually feel the love from my family. And I can see their support for what it is.

It's not like, "Ah, get out of my way. I have a lot to do." It's like, "Oh, look at this, like, support system that I have." A lot is revealed to you when you slow down. But when I look around at what I've created and what I've built and the culture that's around me and the people that are around me, I know that I'm protected. And I know that I'm protected by something even bigger than these people. Like, we have an energy. Like, I don't know how to describe it. I don't really have the words. But I know that it's because my father needed me to be here.

TRACY SMITH: What's the ultimate goal? Because clearly you know the power of music. And you know the power of words. I mean, you're a storyteller with your words. And words are so important to you, clearly. What's the ultimate goal?

LIZZO: (SIGHS) Well, ever since I was a little girl, and I was kind of mentioning that earlier when I lost purpose, but that purpose is still there. I've always wanted to help the world on a global level. And it doesn't have to be very tangible. It can be an energy.

At my shows, I'll be like, "You know, I'm one bitch. But y'all are a bunch of bitches. (LAUGHS) And you have the power to change the world." It's not gonna be one person. It's gonna be you that leaves this building today with a brighter outlook on yourself first. And then a brighter outlook on your life.

And therefore, a brighter outlook on the people around you. And your relationships feel better. You're kinder to people. And then that person's kinder to someone else. And that that person made that other person's day feel better. And eventually the whole world is just happier, because you love yourself. You know what I mean? And you don't have to take that out on anyone else.

I think a lot of the times we're unkind because we're unkind to ourselves. And we really don't know any better. And I think that if we all treated ourselves better, we would know how to love.

TRACY SMITH: Each other?

LIZZO: Uh-huh. We'd know how to love each other for sure. Uh-huh.

You can stream Lizzo's album "Cuz I Love You" by clicking on the embed below (Free Spotify registration required to hear the tracks in full):

     
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Produced by John D'Amelio. Thanks to editor Ed Givnish.