One of the hottest artists in music right now is getting a lot of love from HBCU bands and it recently brought her to tears.
Tennessee State University’s Aristocrat of Bands performed part of Lizzo’s “Truth Hurts” flute section during its opening game against Mississippi Valley on Saturday while Southern University’s Human Jukebox performed her mega-hit “Juice” in the stands.
The gesture was touching for her as she tweeted the video and posted a story on Instagram talking about how she had always admired and been inspired by HBCU bands. She said growing up she was a band nerd and was often teased for it, and because she didn’t play in a predominately black bland she felt out of place.
For those who don’t know, Lizzo is a Detroit-born, Houston bred musician, singer, performer and all-around bad ass. She’s known for having a strong stage presence, body positivity and inspiring others to be themselves and not be afraid to stand out. In the HBCU band world she’s a member of the flute section who can also get out on the field and shake it with any of your favorite HBCU auxiliary lines.
A band geek from way back
“I was legitimately teased,” she said. “I legitimately felt lame, but I continued to stay in band and I continued because I loved music so much and I loved music so much. And I loved marching band culture.”
“I looked at those colleges like I wish that I could be a part of it for a second,” she said.
Lizzo went to the University of Houston and relayed the experience of getting to play with the Grambling State University World Famed Tiger Marching Band.
“We teamed up for a song and I remember feeling so cool because we got to do the “Grambling Drop” and we all linked arms and dropped down to the ground,” she said wiping tears from her eyes. “We got to play the cool songs and I remember just feeling so cool, like ‘yes, finally.”
So for Lizzo seeing black college bands playing her flute section in particular, was a touching moment.
“It’s so cool. It makes me feel like not only am I in the right place now, but everything that I did but every emotion that I felt, all of that sorrow or pain or feeling lost or confused…like I didn’t fit in…I wasn’t black enough, I wasn’t cool enough. It makes me feel like all of those emotions and all of those times were worth it.”
We know exactly how you feel, Lizzo. HBCUs, their bands in particular, have the power to do so much more than just entertain. Hopefully one day Lizzo and an HBCU marching band will get a chance to perform together some time soon.