1. What is the first app you check in the morning?
Instagram. Actually, the news. I check out the newsfeed and then go on Instagram.
2. When you walk into a bar what's the first thing you order?
A green tea cocktail; so that has peach schnapps, Jameson, Sprite, and sour mix. If I don't order that, then I usually get wine.
3. What's your favorite curse word?
Fuckshitass. So for example, "Wow, thank you guys for coming. I can't believe this. Fuckshitass!"
4. What's the last thing you searched for on Google?
5. Who's the last celebrity you called or texted?
"I don't remember the first CD I ever bought, but the first CD I ever stole was Omarion's O album."
6. Which song on Shea Butter Baby was the hardest for you to write and why?
It might've been "Whipped Cream," but they were all fairly easy. The most fun to write was probably "BMO" (Break Me Off). It was fun and easy.
7. Where do you write your best material?
Lately, it's been at the shelter, J. Cole's shelter. Los Angeles too. I wrote "Up Late" in LA and I love that song.
8. What TV shows are you obsessed with right now?
9. What's the first CD you ever bought?
I don't remember the first CD I ever bought, but the first CD I ever stole was Omarion's O album. My dad used to collect mad CDs and I know he didn't listen to all of the hip stuff, so I would steal the stuff I knew he wasn't listening to. So, between Omarion's O and Ciara's Goodies, those are the first I can remember stealing. Oh and Usher's Confessions! I was like, "Mom, can you buy this?" Cuz I was broke. So yeah, I don't remember the first CDs I bought, but those were my first CDs.
10. Which current artists are you listening to nowadays?
I've been listening to Khalid a lot. Ooooh that Ariana Grande and 2 Chainz remake of Amerie's "Why Don't We Fall in Love." I was like, "Yo, I need Ariana Grande to do more soul shit." That's what made me fall in love with her. When she first came out on that, "I love the way..." YO! If she could do more shit like that, she got me. I want her to do a whole album like that.
11. What's your biggest pet peeve?
Walking back to my dressing room [bathroom] and finding out someone just took a shit in it. Like, what the hell? I need to shit, most likely, and it's like what the fuck...you already took a shit in it!! So now it's going to be harder for me to shit! I don't cause a fuss about it, but it just breaks my heart when it smells and people shit in my dressing room.
12. What was your biggest childhood fear?
"Yo, I need Ariana Grande to do more soul shit."
The devil. When I was four, I found out about the devil and every day I was terrorized by the idea of him. I was just really scared. I remember telling the pastor about it and he was like, "Don't be scared," and I was like, "What do you know?!" I just imagined the devil looking really scary too, so I was just really creeped out.
13. Now that you're an adult, how do you prevent fear from taking over your life choices?
Unfortunately, I'm not the right person to ask. Right now I deal with my fears via alcohol...a lot of chardonnay. That's easier on the vocals than whiskey [Editors' note: Ari's drink of choice!].
"We can't just wipe our color off — which is great, I love my color."
14. What's your favorite emoji?
😭 The crying emoji, with the two streams of tears. It's just good for everything, it's so dramatic.
15. What's the last book you read or one you'd really recommend?
Black Like Me, but I felt a way, because as I'm reading I realized it's about a white man dressed in black face in the '60s to see what it feels like to be black. It's cool to see these detailed experiences of how white people treated him, but at the same time, he was able to just go back to his regular white life. But we deal with this shit everyday. We can't just wipe our color off — which is great, I love my color, but it definitely made me feel a way. I'm still glad I saw the perversion that was happening with the treatment of black people, so for that reason, I appreciate the book.
The Alchemist also really stuck out to me. It's one of my favorite books.
16. What song puts you in a good mood, even on your worst day?
"Remind Me" by Patrice Rushen. It's just so good and beautiful. It reminds me of flowers and sunshine. I just want to make music like that. It's fire.
17. What's the first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions D.C.?
Rock Creek Park, because I feel like it would be too cliché for me to say Carry Out, mumbo sauce, and Go-go.
18. Tell me a secret.
When I was little, whenever there was a fly in the house, I would catch them and take their legs off. I can't front, it was relaxing for me. I don't know...back in the day when I was a little weird child, I liked when the flies would land on me. It felt nice on my skin. But I would end up catching them and taking their legs off.
19. What's the corniest pick-up line someone's ever used on you?
I was like 12 years old walking on H Street in D.C. and some dude had the nerve to come up to me and say, "Wow, you look just like Beyoncé!" You know damn well I don't look like no Beyoncé. It was nice, but it was a LIE! It would've been great for one second in my life to be Beyoncé, but I just knew it was so far from the truth. It was just heartbreaking — the lengths he went through to try and get my number.
20. What's the best thing about touring?
The best thing is knowing that every time you go out to a different city or country, you know people are there for you. The people care, they love you...you can just feel their energy and support. Even if you fuck up, they're there for you. They're just happy you came to their city. That feeling is everything.
"You know damn well I don't look like no Beyoncé."
21. What's the worst thing about touring?
The worst part is not being rich. Our bus breaks down every two seconds, okay. One time there was a critter attack, the toilet is terrifying all of our noses everyday, and then there was a carbon monoxide leak. Out of nowhere an alarm just started going off, "Warning: carbon monoxide, warning: carbon monoxide." Turns out it was just as simple as changing the batteries, now all of a sudden we're not dying.
"Rocking my natural nose, hair, and skin — That makes me feel so empowered"
22. What's a perfect day for Ari Lennox?
I'd be laid up with my boo. So, while he's holding me, I'll be the little spoon, and then I'll also be spooning Sims 3. That's like the best day. While all that's happening my dog, Galactus, is licking, me, my boo, and the computer. I'd also have the bathtub running the back, so that I can take a nice, hot bath after that.
23. What makes you feel empowered?
Rocking my natural nose, hair, and skin — that makes me feel so empowered, because there's so many people out there that would rather me not do that. I refuse to change for them. Knowing that I can encourage someone else to rock their natural self really empowers me as well.