H.E.R. FaceTimes Zane Lowe on Apple Music to chat about how she’s staying creative at home, the importance of reaching out to family and friends, adapting to a slower lifestyle, continuously working on her record until the day it drops, what she thinks of the Prince comparisons, what she loves about Frank Ocean, how she’s combating anxiety, and more.

On How She Felt During The First Week of Quarantine Versus Now…

The first week I didn't really know how to be, I feel like I was just like, okay, what? Don't move. I'm always on the go, so it was a big change. I was in the process of moving, so thank God I was somewhat occupied, and now I'm in a new space so it's like new energy and I can actually live in my space. It's kind of a blessing and a curse. I feel like the first week I was also a little uninspired, just because of all the madness. It was just every everywhere you look, the news, TV, social media, it's all just negative fear and just, oh, it's a pandemic, and all these things and death, and it was just so much going on that it was hard to be creative and be positive, but now I'm in a better place. Just taking advantage.

On Being Creative and Writing Right Now…

I feel like it's harder to function really. I don't know. It kind of sucks the energy life out of you. Actually, I'm writing a lot, more so my thoughts and feelings, and just starting there.

On Stevie Wonder and His Way With Words…

I feel like my first memory was probably like while I was still in the womb, just because of my parents loving Stevie Wonder so much. I just remember watching live concerts with my dad, and studying them, and just hearing the emotion in his voice when he performs, the honesty, the chord changes, everything about Stevie, his writing, how poetic it was, but it was never cheesy. It was never like ... He could really write a love song, and make it so poetic, and so romantic and it not be considered overly done. He just had a way with words that could capture anybody.

On Reaching Out To Family and Friends She Hasn’t Spoken To In A Long Time…

Maybe because when we're busy and we're working on a daily basis, it's like, oh no, I don't want to bother them. Oh no, I don't want to stop what I'm doing to call, or text, or whatever. I don't want to get distracted. But now, because we have so much time, it's like, oh, I can actually call this person, and I know they're not doing anything right now because nobody's doing anything right now. That's a beautiful thing. I agree. Family members I haven't spoke to in a while, or friends that I may not have not had a full conversation with in a long time because we've just been busy. I've called and reached out to ... That's so crazy you said that.

On Continuously Working On Her Record Until The Day It Drops...

Man, I might have something like... a little something for you next a week but yeah, everything was on pause. But I'm still working, I'm still getting records mixed and mastered and just ready to go. But I'm not done until it's out. Like, day before it drops. Just like, I might have something to change so you just never know. But the work doesn't stop even though the world is on pause, we never stop. You know?

I do get lost. I think what happens is, I have... Because I wasn't even in the middle, I would say I was about 90% or 85%. And it's like, "Okay, now there's no pressure." Because the meat of the album is there. You know what I mean? I have to just not put that pressure on it. Like, "You have the songs, everything is there that you want." Now it's just extra and trying to push a little bit further to see what more comes.

On How Her Upcoming Album Is A Testament To Her Growth…

I noticed, even lyrically, on this album...Looking at Volume One and even I Used To Know Her, it's a lot of uncertainty, it's a lot of questioning. It's a lot of like, "Should I? Do you? Do I?" But this album that I'm about to drop is very like, "No, this is what it is, this is what I want, this is who I am." It's very... and I noticed that, lyrically, every song is so sure. And it's just a testament to what I have grown into, even as a young woman. And so, even sound choice-wise, I know like, "Okay, this is what this song needs to be. This was what this needs to feel like." And it's not... And of course we're always searching, always trying to find something new. But with this album there wasn't... I didn't have to look very far. You know what I mean? It was like, "Okay, this is what I want. This is... I know that this is what it should be." Which is beautiful. You know? So I hope everybody loves it and gets that from it.

On Being Compared to Prince…

People say that a lot, sometimes it's like, oh, those are some big shoes to fill, you know? But I'm honestly honored. I can't believe that when people say that because I love Prince so much, you know? And even though I don't necessarily try to emulate him in my music because, I've found inspiration in what he does as a performer and in his production and tried to slip it in my own way and do my own thing. So it's nice that people compare me in the way that it's like as a performer and as an artist and not necessarily music or style and that's probably the biggest compliment. You know what I mean? Oh you give me the same energy and the same essence of Prince and that's something that doesn't happen. So it's beautiful that people even say that. Because I'm a huge Prince fan. I never would've thought that people, and when I did the Prince tribute that is coming out soon on the anniversary of his death, I did the Prince tribute at the time and they said, "Oh, Prince would have loved you." Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, they're always saying to me, that's when it feels real. Like the people that were actually closest to him that know him. Even Sheila E, meeting his entire crew and just knowing that they even say the same thing, like that even means more, you know, that that means so much.

On What She Loves About Frank Ocean…

I love Frank because he knows what he's doing. You know what I mean? Like, okay, people can attempt to do what they think is weird or different, but they're busy trying to be different as opposed to just being, you know what I mean? And it's like you hear all these people who want to be inspired by him, but it's like he's tapped into something within himself that is not trying to be anything but Frank. And that's what I love about Frank so much. Even his melody choice. It's just so him, you can try to make a song, you think Frank Ocean would write, but only Frank can write it. I just remember I first moved to LA and I was 14 and Channel Orange came out and I was in high school and it was like I was witnessing all the stories that he was literally telling in Channel Orange. And it was- Everything he talked about, it was the sweet life you know? Ladera Heights, like all the things that he talked about, I was like, wow, I'm seeing this. I'm experiencing it and it just made me appreciate it more.

On Experiencing and Combating Anxiety…

You know, anxiety it can be, it can come from a lot of things. I overthink everything. I overthink a lot and I have those moments. I think there was like three weeks where I was just constantly getting those heart palpitations, constantly feeling like something was physically wrong with me, and I think that's something with me where emotional pain sometimes really turns into like I can feel it, it turns into physical pain. And so I have to be very mindful. Some of the things that I started doing was meditating and just breathing, like taking a second to breathe and try to shut off my brain because it can get in the way of creativity. It can get in the way of daily life when you're constantly overthinking everything and it's just, you should just be happy and live in the moment and not worry. And yeah, it's definitely a struggle. I feel like everybody deals with that in different ways. In different ways, but for me I had to realise physical health, mental health, it all is one and so you have to be mindful of both. And yeah, I just started taking that time to just breathe and not think about anything. Just breathe.

On Her Thoughts On How Coronavirus Is Affecting Everyone…

Honestly, today specifically I was just telling someone like, "Are we going to be able to, like how's it going to take us to adjust back to normal life after this? You know, like how are we going to act after it?" And that's all I can think about, like I don't know how long this is going to be. I'm trying to get into a routine, but what if I get into a routine and then I'm so used to that routine that it's hard for me to break out of it? So it's kind of taking it day-by-day.And some people don't even have, they can't even sit in their home, whatever the situation is. They just can't. And I've thought about how this is affecting people who rely on their jobs or rely on so many different things, and I know that they continued a lot of the main essential services, but still there's just a lot of people out there who aren't really having that break, it doesn't feel like we break for them, you know what I mean? It feels like, "What now?" for them. So it is additional stress. I just wonder if they were able... I don't know. It's tough, it's really tough. Everybody, I think, is experiencing this differently.

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