“If you surrender to the air, you can ride it.” – Toni Morrison
This was the quote that Beyoncé displayed in the opening of her iconic
Coachella Beychella performance and it undoubtedly describes Beyoncé’s incredible work ethic and self-confidence.
Early Wednesday morning on April 17th, the Queen gifted us with ‘Homecoming’, a 137-minute documentary and concert film streamed on Netflix, detailing her impeccable performance at Coachella in 2018.
‘Homecoming’ gives us an inside look at her historic performance complete with 64 musicians, a self-selected myriad of dancers, and an undeniably Black AF musical collection (from the chopped and screwed sounds, tunes from New Orleans bands and bounce artists, inspiration from Pastor Troy, beats from the Jamaican dancehall of Sister Nancy, and a special rendition of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” ‘Homecoming’ was EVERYTHING. #istan
Outside of being the performance of a lifetime that even Beyoncé haters can’t deny, ‘Homecoming’ undoubtedly showered us with inspiration from start to finish.
Here’s what we learned.
Do everything with intention
The entire concept for Beychella was created with deep intention and centered around the HBCU (Historically Black College and University) experience.
As a proud HBCU alum (Prairie View A&M University), I definitely felt like I was back on the yard while watching ‘Homecoming’. From the marching bands, to the dancers, to the greek life references, Beychella embodied the essence of an HBCU homecoming (the only thing we were missing was the trash can punch, BBQ, and fish frys).
Although Beyoncé did not attend college, she would often visit Prairie View A&M University, rehearse at Texas Southern University, and “always dreamed of going to an HBCU.” Her father, Mathew Knowles, went to Fisk University in Nashville. “I wanted it to feel the way I felt when I went to Battle of the Bands,” Beyoncé explains regarding the Beychella set, “because I grew up seeing those shows and that being the highlight of my year.”
From her custom costumes, to the hand-picked Beychella performance team, every inch of the show was created with a tunnel vision mind and purpose.
“I respect things that take work. I respect things that are built from the ground up. I’m super specific about every detail… I personally selected each dancer, every light, the material on the steps, the height of the pyramid, the shape of the pyramid. Every patch was hand-sewn. Every tiny detail had an intention,” Beyoncé said.
Respect the process
Beyoncé spent eight months rehearsing and reminded the world that the greatness takes time and we have to fall in love with the process. As The Root affectionately referenced on Twitter, “Beyoncé. First of her name. King of Music. Snatcher of edges. Creator of Stamina. The untouched.”
I’ve never read a more accurate statement.
Just six months after giving birth to Sir and Rumi, Beyoncé began practicing what would become Beychella. First, she and her music director, Derek Dixie, started with four months of rehearsals with the band. Next came four more months of dance rehearsals. #whewchile
Just like Beyoncé, when you have a goal in mind you have to put in the hours, the grunt work, the time, and the energy to bring your dream to fruition. There is no such thing as an overnight success so you have to work hard and stay committed during the process. Even when self-doubt creeps up and the haters doubt you, you have to keep moving forward. (I remember haters were saying Beyoncé wouldn’t be able to pull off Beychella since she had just given birth; thank God she didn’t listen to them).
Your team is everything
Whether you are leading a team in corporate America or leading a team for your startup, your people are just as important as the business. No matter how smart you are or how lit your credentials are, you cannot do it alone. In order to really meet goals, and scale and grow you have to have dedicated people on your team.
As previously mentioned, Beyoncé hand-picked every member that was apart of the show because she knew how crucial it is to be involved in the team selection process when you have a project or business. In ‘Homecoming’, Beyoncé is seen telling her Beychella performance team how critical it was for them to all get to know each other and feel at home. It was evident that creating that family atmosphere was important to the success of Beychella.
Often times when you have a team, your people will go harder for you and will be dedicated if they respect you, believe in you and the business, and are passionate about it.
“I really have to have dedicated people that are down for the cause,” Beyoncé said.
You have to do things differently to get different results
Once the Bey Hive heard that Beyoncé was headlining at Coachella, we were all ready, but that doesn’t mean she was physically or mentally ready.
“A lot of the choreography is not technical, it’s about feeling. And that’s hard when you don’t feel like yourself. I had to rebuild my body from cut muscles. It took me a while to feel confident enough to freak it and give it my own personality. In the beginning, it was so many muscle spasms. Just, internally, my body was not connected. My body was not there,” Bey discussed in ‘Homecoming’.
Despite it all, Beyoncé was determined to pull off her performance so she did what many of us should do when we are looking to accomplish new goals.
As the saying goes, “you have to do things differently to get different results” and that’s exactly what Bey did. Many of us know that nutrition plays a heavy role in our physical and mental health, and for Beyoncé, she needed to get her health in line so that she could deliver Beychella the way she dreamed.
To prepare, Bey placed herself on a strict diet limiting bread, carbs, sugar, dairy, meat, fish, and alcohol. Even though it was hard (in ‘Homecoming’ you can hear Beyoncé saying how hungry she was), sometimes you have to push through what is difficult to get the results you want.