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Ari Lennox x Crown Royal teamed up for a good cause - Black Pepper Magazine

Who is Ari Lennox ?

Before jumping in, let's take some steps back . Courtney Shanade Salter, known professionally as Ari Lennox is a 29 year-old American R&B singer-songwriter from Washington. D.C . In December 2015 , Ari got signed as the first female singer to J. Cole's record label, Dreamville Records. Back in 2009 she began sharing her breathtaking voice via YouTube. Well, little that she knew one of her cover songs went viral.

It's the VOICE for us ! Isn't she such a rare pearl ? With her songs she manages to inspire us with her outstanding voice and to leave a long-term impression. We LOVE her !

Now that you know where it all started, there's no other way to stream the new single featuring singer Anthony Ramos and support the good cause.

I am thrilled to be here with all of you today. Our guest is none other than DMV-born singer-songwriter, and Dreamville’s very own “Shea Butter Baby” Ari Lennox. Today we’ll be discussing her new collaboration with singer-actor Anthony Ramos, titled “If You Want Me To Stay,” A track meant to inspire hope, unity, and generosity while giving back to small businesses. Backed by Crown Royal in conjunction Main Street Alliance — a nonprofit organization committed to supporting small businesses in the United States — every stream will generate a donation of $1 up to $500,000.

You can help Crown Royal support these landmark venues by streaming the cover of “If You Want Me to Stay” . To learn more about this relief effort, visit


BPMAG writer Nikia had a great conversation with Ari Lennox about this project, and we hope you enjoy it, too ! Tune in :

Interview Questions 

  • Crown Royal, a legendary brand in my eyes, to this day, my grandmother does not carry a purse or wallet. She takes a Crown Royal sack. Their initiative in partnership with Main Street Alliance to help support small businesses in the U.S. - mind blowing! As we all know, several small businesses have been adversely impacted during this pandemic, what is it like to be a part of something like this and are there any small businesses you’ve uncovered or care to recommend? 

  • Anthony Ramos. Powerful voice. His dual performance in Hamilton? Sensational. What was it like collaborating with him to create something of this magnitude? 

  • When I think about societal uproar and the impact music artists have during periods of significant and necessary unrest, it always leads me to wonder how one may feel during times like this when creating. Personally, my heart is heavy. How have recent events impacted your work and (stripping everything else away) how do you feel as a Black woman living in America today? 

  • What would you like to see us accomplish as a collective within the Black community?  

  • You’re an artist I listen to on repeat, so I have to ask, from your own body of work, do you have a favorite record? 

  • You’ve previously mentioned finding your voice at an early age while participating in your church choir and having the encouragement of your grandmothers to continue developing your gift, how does that experience encompassed with their influence shape work you produce in the present day?  

  • What has been your biggest hurdle as a female artist in the industry? 

  • We’ve talked a lot about your life professionally, but what are some things you’ve learned and been able to apply on a personal level during quarantine? 



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