Ask someone what they think about 2020? You might just get a sigh and a not-so-uplifting response. But you see times are created by God. He knows wht things have to go the way they do even when they hurt.  He owns this place we call our world.

You will agree with me that 2020 came with a trailer load of new – of which the most were overwhelming and the world is gradullay still recuperating. In the midst of all of these, it could be chaotic having a hold on what’s going on for a creative.  Ari Lennox shared how she was nable to wade past the pandemic to continued police brutality to natural disasters. The chaos around us makes it hard for creativity to thrive.

However, the right opportunity can find you when you least expect it and help re-spark your creativity. That was the case for Ari Lennox when she was approached by Crown Royal to remake the song “If You Want Me To Stay” by Sly & The Family Stone.

On the track, the Shea Butter Baby artist collaborated with singer and actor Anthony Ramos (Netflix’s She’s Gotta Have It). Their rendition of “If You Want Me To Stay” seeks to support businesses that help us heal through music and entertainment, such as bars, clubs, and venues. These spaces are in danger of closing due to COVID-19.

“I’m thankful that this cover happened because it’s hard to find inspiration during this time to create about what I normally create about, which is love and romance. How do you find anyone or get some during this time?” she laughs. “I’m not sure how it’s possible at all.”

So, do you need to tune up your energy like Ari as creative? Then do this.

Study the greats that came before you.

The internet gives us access to so much information. To re-spark your creativity, go beyond merely reading about the greats and take the time to really study their work like Ari did to prepare for the record. Read articles, watch interviews, pay attention to the social media captions of those who you admire to better understand their journey and how you can apply it to your life.

Make a human connection and feel the vibe.

One of the biggest lessons that we’ve learned from 2020 is that we truly need each other to get by. The forced isolation of quarantine makes us appreciate authentic human connections more than ever. Ari built a genuine relationship with Anthony while recording the song together that was based on good vibes from the start. “First, we had a Facetime call, and he was so funny, always cracking jokes. I could tell he was good vibes. Then it was the same thing when I met him in real life.”

During the studio session, they decided which person would sing which part of the song and how to do the remix justice. “It was great, good vibes. It was fun, he’s so hilarious. It was good, good energy… Anthony really helped me stay kind of calm, and it was nice.

Think about the bigger picture and how you can impact others.

Ari and Anthony’s remake of “If You Want Me to Stay” is backed by a bigger purpose. Crown Royal partnered with The Main Street Alliance, an organization dedicated to supporting small businesses in the United States, to launch a national relief campaign that supports bars, stages, and clubs that are in danger of closing due to COVID-19. For every stream of the track, Crown Royal pledged to donate $1 (up to $500,000) to The Main Street Alliance to help music venues that were impacted by the pandemic.

Similarly, you can find creative inspiration by thinking about your role in the bigger picture. If you don’t know what your purpose is, spend some time analyzing what people ask you for and what comes naturally to you. If you already have an idea of what you’re supposed to be doing, lean into that and try to be inspired by your divine calling.

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