With the COVID pandemic keeping us static, have you been listening to your old favorite music? Or trying to find something new? If so, superproducers Swizz Beatz and Timbaland have got you covered. In late March, the duo created the Verzuz series, an Instagram LIVE battle of hits between two established artists (or groups) meant to remind and educate people about some of the greatest hip-hop and R&B artists and, in the short time since its inception, Verzuz has drawn hundreds of thousands of fans. 

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When Dionna Collins founded her business ComfiArt in 2016, it was a departure for her. After realizing she was burnt out from freelance digital design work and her fulltime job, Collins wanted a new artistic platform of her own. In an interview with VA Mag, Collins spoke on the beginnings of her business. “ComfiArt started as a pillow company. I created pillows and blankets, a lot of stuff that’s comfy.”

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Kerby Jean-Raymond has no problem responding to convention with a “Fuck you.” A child of Haitian immigrants, Kerby launched his fashion label Pyer Moss in 2013 and has since amassed widespread recognition as an up-and-coming leader in the world of fashion. He’s outspoken in regards to racism in the industry, in every industry for that matter. And, in an exciting turn, his artistic talents now encompass directing music videos.

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Delicately put, the world is in chaos. The Coronavirus threatens to take our family, friends, and neighbors from us. Statewide stay-at-home orders across America have secluded people in their homes if they're fortunate enough to have one. Healthcare workers fight this battle on the frontlines with minimal federal support. Essential workers are being forced back into work prematurely, or risk losing their income and health insurance if they’re fortunate enough to have it. 

Around 26 million Americans have filed for unemployment claims in the last five weeks. The world is lacking beauty, joy, security, community, but certainly not inspiration. Since COVID-19 arrived in the United States, all sorts of artists are using this pandemic as their muse, documenting history with creativity and resilience. 

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Upon discovering a brand new kitchen appliance suddenly on fire in 2015, singer-songwriter Yola couldn’t help but laugh. Overwhelming stress was nothing new to her; after dropping out of college years ago, she found herself homeless. While staring at her burning kitchen, all Yola could think was ‘What’s worse than this?’ And the thing that was worse was the life I had just managed to get myself out of.” 

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Hayley Kiyoko creates whatever she can out of what she has. She co-directed a cheaply-produced music video that drew millions of eyes, or her third EP formed out of her frustration caused by a serious concussion, the singer/actress established a triple threat career, often speaking about struggles with her sexuality and lack of confidence. Released in early 2020, her fourth EP “I’m Too Sensitive For This Shit,” heightened the electro-pop sound of her previous music while delivering a deeper look into the singer’s spirit.  

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