Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

An emerging Lizzo-esque singer inspired by body image will play the Lucky You

Mary Lambert loves Lizzo. Much like the plus-sized pop star, Lambert is an emotive singer-songwriter who is not ashamed of her girth.

Lambert, who will perform Thursday at the Lucky You Lounge, has been inspired to craft songs about body image.

“I’m working on an EP that will be body-positive,” Lambert said during a call from her Massachusetts home. “I want to make an album people can dance to and feel good about their bodies. It’s going to be uplifting and based on real stuff.

“My message is that young girls should never be ashamed of their bodies. There is just so much information out there that is false and damaging for young women.”

Lambert, 33, plans on taking on body shaming in song and in concert.

“We need people to talk about this,” Lambert said. “I’m about facts. We can lose weight during the short term but long-term weight loss does not exist. Some people are just who they are, and they might be bigger.

“Our society chastises fat people for their weight, and that’s cruel. The reality is that it’s a genetic thing. We have to stop the demonization. I’m the size that I am and my health markers are fine. This is an issue about dignity and I’m going to sing about it and fight for the rights of fat people.”

The author of “500 Tips for Fat Girls” has always been a champion for the underdog. A decade ago, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis contacted Lambert to work on the song “Same Love.”

Lambert co-wrote the gay rights anthem and is the featured vocalist on the track, which was recorded during the campaign for Washington Referendum 74, which, upon approval in November 2012, legalized same-sex marriage in Washington state.

“That was an amazing day for Washington,” Lambert said.

“Same Love” reached No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States and was nominated at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards for Song of the Year.

“That ‘Same Love’ experience was like the wildest ride you could ever take,” Lambert said. “It was like being in a movie. I remember hearing ‘Same Love’ for the first time on the radio and it just killed me. It was a surreal time for me because I was overdrafting my bank account and I was so close to sleeping in my car and then ‘Same Love’ became a hit and it changed my life. It gave me the chance to share love and music with people.”

Lambert’s mind was blown after she was joined by Madonna when she, Macklemore and Lewis performed “Same Love” during the 56th Grammy Awards. If that wasn’t trippy enough for Lambert, Queen Latifah oversaw and officiated the weddings of 33 same-sex and opposite-sex couples during the performance.

“That experience was unbelievably weird,” Lambert said. “We’re not supposed to think those things will ever happen to us.”

But while growing up in Everett, Lambert did dream about performing at the Grammys.

“I had visions of those things,” Lambert said. “I believed that I would one day be there, even as a teenager. I remember telling one of my bosses at one of my first jobs that I have to take off on Sundays since I’ll be performing at awards shows.”

Perhaps one day Lambert will be part of a bill with Lizzo.

“I would love that,” Lambert said. “I absolutely love Lizzo. I love how unapologetic she is and I love the joy she brings to pop culture, and then there is all that she does for fat liberation. It’s so exciting to witness everything she does.”

There’s always a cause that inspires the cerebral lesbian, who will showcase tracks from her two albums at the Lucky You: 2014’s aptly titled “Heart on my Sleeve” and 2017’s “Grief Creature,” which are filled with provocative, deep and melancholy songs.

On the day Roe v. Wade was overturned, Lambert and her partner, Wyatt Hermanson, who host “The Manic Episodes” podcast, were inspired to write.

“Wyatt and I are working on a song about abortion,” she said. “We certainly have some writing to do today. We knew this day was coming, but you’ll never be able to legislate my body. Life can be a battle, but we’re willing to slug it out and do what we can. The amazing thing is that you can change the world with a song.”