It's been endearing and incredible to watch how COVID has affected my relationship with some of my favorite musicians and other types of artists. Even for celebrities I've followed for years, I always wondered how much of what I see is for the show or from the person behind it. I think I've discovered through my own self-revelations that it's probably always a complicated mixture of that and more.
Could be COVID is deepening my already deep well of empathy. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I was compelled to write this post after watching really moving video interviews by Alicia Keys, John Legend, and Janelle Monaé. I have long, loving relationships through music with all three. I can name a list of songs from each that highlight key memories in my life (maybe in another post sometime 🤔).
Alicia and John kicked it off with a great episode of Verzuz on Apple Music. The format is basically them narrating some influences and backstory on themes of their music they come up with. For example, John will say what's your favorite love song? Alicia rolls up with Butterflies from Songs in A Minor and as a twist plays it live on the piano. Their really open and personal exchanges deeply connected me to them in a new and beautiful way.
Then, Alicia gives me the one-two with one of my favorite interviews of all-time (and I actually mean it) with Zane Lowe on Alicia's episode of The Zane Lowe Show. I nodded along, heard my story in her story, and really felt like she came and plopped down on the couch smoked a bowl with me and just started going in. Now, I have to add that to my bucket list. Most of the conversation centered around her mental health journey and what role music has played in that up to her new album. I feel something so beautiful radiating from her, and it's a feeling I've always wanted for myself.
Finally, the knockout. My girl, Janelle. We go BACK. I still remember what it felt like to hear her for the first time. It was live, with her band, in my little Apple Store in Atlanta (Perimeter STAND UP) and I've been a die hard fan ever since...but she knocked me the fuck out with her interview with Zane Lowe. My already deep respect for her is now bedrock solid.
Some of my dearest friendships and relationship have been forged, and are still maintained, through digital communication and it makes me so happy to see new people I love embracing it. I love that I am here to witness a time where despite the distance we've found a way to connect so deeply to each other and that even the most public of us are opening up in new ways.