Big Sean and Nyla Lewis on McDonald’s ‘Black and Positively Golden’ series

Big Sean said that he would not 'even be alive if I didn't have the right mentors in my life' in an exclusive with theGrio

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It’s not often that upcoming artists in the early stages of their music journey can say that they have been mentored by some of the top artists in the industry. 

By collaborating with McDonald’s and Black and Positively Golden, award-winning rapper, singer, and songwriter Big Sean provided a once in a lifetime mentor experience for Michigan artist, Nyla Lewis.

Read More: H.E.R., Big Sean, Khalid, and more featured on ‘HBCU Homecoming Celebration on iHeartRadio’

(Courtesy of Black and Positively Golden)

Black & Positively Golden Mentors Program is an “initiative that pairs industry leaders in coveted sectors, including technology, entertainment, business and more, with up-and-coming changemakers in the same fields.”

During an interview with theGrio, Big Sean reveals why he was happy to be a part of the program and pay it forward.

“I just appreciate it,” says Big Sean. “A company like McDonald’s and everyone else involved that are like so major to really care about the Black community, to be really down to want to make a difference, not just for the cameras, in real life.”

He continues, “Obviously, when they told me about Nyla and told me where she was from, we from the same place essentially. I was just all in. I was ready. I feel like I have experienced great mentorship in my life and has made the biggest difference. I probably wouldn’t even be here. I might not even be alive if I didn’t have the right mentors in my life throughout my life.”

Big Sean also reveals some gems he learned from his mentors to help him navigate through life and the industry, such as hard work, dedication, perseverance, and unbreakable faith.

(Courtesy of Roc Nation)

“You got to have faith in something you don’t see but you can feel,” says Big Sean. “And to know that even when things don’t go your way, if you really trust and believe in God, it’s only for the better. And it’s because something greater is on the horizon.”

The Detroit rapper explains how he came from a place that’s relentless and having to always be active but he also learned the importance of taking care of yourself.

The past few years, I’ve really been putting myself as a priority, the top priority, because I know if I’m good, then I can bring my best self to everything I got going on from my family to my career to business, to my passion, you know what I mean? And my life’s purpose.”

Lewis, 19, expresses how excited she was to be apart of Black and Positively Golden.

Read More: Big Sean: I wanted to ‘give up on my life’ before rediscovering passion

(Courtesy of Black and Positively Golden)

“Just to have [Big Sean] as my mentor, It’s a big deal,” says Lewis. “Being, 19 from Michigan, it’s a gift to have access to Big Sean and I know that for a fact, it’s going to help me in the long run.”

Along with her session with the award-winning rapper, Lewis also received mentoring sessions with representatives from the digital, artist management, and marketing departments at Roc Nation and a computer with professional music editing software from McDonald’s and Big Sean.

The 19-year-old’s advice to upcoming artists: “It’s possible. If you know that you got the juice, go ahead! Push it.”

Big Sean also encourages the artists to have fun with it.

“Life is so serious right now,” says the artist. “It’s a lot of just craziness going on. Even if it’s with a message, just make sure you have fun with it, because when you do have fun with it, people will be able to tell the difference. People can see that when you put your heart into something that, you know, you feeling good and your work is going to feel good. And that’s what people need. They need that uplift, that motivation, and that inspiration.

The McDonald’s Black & Positively Golden Mentors program will continue into 2021. Gospel music vocalist and entrepreneur Kierra Sheard, journalist and activist Jamilah Lemieux, and professional race car driver Bubba Wallace are among the mentors who will be featured next year.

Check out the Big Sean and Nyla Lewis episode below.

Visit Black & Positively Golden to learn more, and follow @wearegolden on Instagram to watch mentor sessions and receive program updates.

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