During her recent Billboard magazine cover shoot, Lizzo recalled how her Hot 100 No. 1 song “Truth Hurts” came together as part of the “How It Went Down” video series, revealing how a disappointing voicemail inspired her to turn heartbreak and tears into a hit song.
Lizzo tells Billboard that when she went into the studio two years ago to create “Truth Hurts,” she really did not want to be there. “I was so upset and depressed and sad,” she remembers, explaining that she had received a voicemail from a guy telling her not to call him anymore because he was getting back together with his ex.
So, Lizzo blocked him and went to the studio, telling producer Ricky Reed everything that had happened. She noticed that as she was talking, Reed was scribbling something down. When she asked him what he was writing, he replied, “I hope you know you just wrote a song.”
It was then that Reed played Lizzo a piano beat that she initially hated. “It was a sample from this kid named Tele, and I was like, ‘I hate this shit,’” Lizzo confesses. But Reed told her to trust him, which she did, and as they added some drums to the beat, she began to come around.
Speaking of how the vocals were added to the song, Lizzo recalls that the experience in the studio was “like playing tag” with herself, running into the booth and dropping lines as she thought of them.
As for how she decided upon the title “Truth Hurts,” the singer says, “I was listening through it, I was like ‘Truth hurts, boy. Truth hurts.’ Reed instantly knew that had to be the song’s title.
“I don’t know what type of magical honey was in my throat when I woke up that morning, but shit,” says Lizzo. “Every mother–king thing I said was the goddamn song!”
In the interview, Lizzo also notes that she credits a certain Netflix movie starring Gina Rodriguez for reigniting the song’s popularity.
“We put the hoe out two years ago, and it did good, a lot of people liked it. It was a cult classic. But two years later, they put that shit in a Netflix movie [Someone Great],” she shares. “Now the whole world found it. It’s a hit record, baby. That’s how hit records are made. They’re made from the heart. They’re made from tears. They’re made from fears. And they’re made from happy endings.”
You can watch the video above to hear the full story of how Lizzo created “Truth Hurts.”