"About 10 years ago, I made the decision that I just wanted to be happy with my body and I just wanted to be happy with who I am," the artist says. "That was the beginning of my journey with learning how to love my body. ... You have to find that love for yourself deep down inside, underneath all of that questioning and ickiness."
On her role in producing Cuz I Love You
I am classically trained in music theory and music performance, so I have an innate ear and actually a highly skilled ear when it comes to frequency and harmony and dissonance and melody. So for me, it's this thing that I can feel in my body. I'm almost like a tuning fork where if I hear the beat and I vibrate at the level that I'm supposed to, I know that that's what I want to get on. And from being trained, I think it's easier for me to speak a language to producers, and I can speak engineer to the engineers. I think we all just have so much fun nerding out. ... I'm credited as a producer on a couple of the songs because I was there, and my DNA is in there as well.
On the idea that it's odd to have a flute in rap music
You hear a lot of flute in rap! Have y'all heard of J Dilla? Have y'all heard of Metro Boomin? Like, these producers use flute all the time. One of the biggest hits was "Mask Off," and ... the chorus was just a flute solo. I think we don't see rappers play flute. We hear it and we don't subconsciously put two and two together. I think it would have been way more impactful to see Future actually playing the line on the flute to "Mask Off," but he wasn't.
I think that flute and hip-hop are very sexy. I think that flute and hip-hop have gone together for a long time. I think this is just the first time you actually see the artist actually playing the flute. There wasn't a disconnect. Growing up in Houston, freestyle rapping was very first nature to me. That was what I wanted to do. That's what you had to do as a rite of passage. I was very nerdy, and the fact that I knew how to freestyle on a bus, or freestyle in the cafeteria and bang on the desk, just gave me a little get-out-of-being-a-nerd-free pass.
Houston ... that's the city that freestyle really found its swag, and I'm just lucky that I was a part of that while it was happening — and also a classically trained flute player. I think it's just weird to everybody else, but it's not weird to me!
On writing "My Skin," her first body positive song
Someone asked a question. ... They asked me what's my favorite thing about myself? And I told them my personality. And they said, "OK, but physically, what's your favorite thing about yourself?" And I did not have an answer.
For the first time in my life I had to actually think about something that I liked about myself physically, and because it was so difficult, I was moved to tears.
In that moment, I remembered that I'd just fallen off a cliff. ... I was rope swinging into the river, and I am just so heavy, and I fell off the rope and fell on the ground. It was really scary and traumatizing. I'll never do anything like that again, but I scraped up my skin and I remember my friend was like, "Look what you did to your beautiful skin!"