Andre 3000 did a new thing. He released an instrumental album of flute music. The project New Blue Sun is a complete departure from his past work. But in the release of this album, creatives of all disciplines can learn a few things about the creative process. Check out these seven lessons from Andre 3000 and his flute album.

You Don’t Have to Do What You’ve Always Done 

Andre 3000 made a name for himself as half the iconic rap duo Outkast. They’ve made groundbreaking music that is still respected today. He’s also dabbled in acting, designed t-shirts, and much more. Then folks started seeing him play the flute in public, and after many trending videos later, he’s released an entire album of this work. The point is, it is easy to get pigeon-holed in life, but the world is vast. And Andre teaches us if we’re intentional about trying new things, we can discover new passions. Instead of sticking to your mundane routine, try something different.

It’s Okay to Be a Novice 

“I’m actually listening to myself be a baby at something,” Andre said in his interview with GQ. Many people are afraid to try new things because they want to avoid failure. But Andre was already successful at rap, and when you’ve reached the mountain top, it’s hard to go back to the valley and begin again. But life is all about the journey, and as cliche as it sounds, it is true. Not only do you learn a new skill as a novice, but you learn more about yourself. 

Let Your Art Reflect Your Reality 

Andre said he’s no longer rapping because he doesn’t know how to translate his current life to fit that art form. He joked that at his age, 48, his life is different than when he was in his twenties. “And not to say that age is a thing that dictates what you rap about, but in a way it does,” he told GQ. “And things that happen in my life, like, [that make me think] what are you talking about? We’re sure Andre 3000 could find a way to rap about these things with his talent. But the fact of the matter is it’s not what he feels comfortable doing. Instead of forcing it, he’s found a new way to express the creativity energy though his life has changed.

The Right Audience Will Find You 

Hip Hop culture has significantly influenced American culture. And while it’s clear that Andre’s impact on Hip Hop bolstered New Blue Sun’s popularity, it also highlights an accomplishment not many rappers can say they’ve achieved. He surprised everyone, creating within a new genre and selling 24k copies in the first week. That was more than several rap albums from popular artists like Lil Wayne, Ice Spice and Nas, according to Fader.

Your Art Will Inspire Others 

Since the release of New Blue Sun, his album has garnered massive popularity on social media. Beyoncé also featured it in her box office topping film Renaissance, and several artists across various mediums shared that they’ve used Andre 3000’s instrumentals to write, paint and create new artwork of their own.

Make Connection the Priority 

 Although all creatives have to eat, connection should be top priority. Connection helps people see you as an artist. It also helps them feel less alone and ultimately builds a loyal fan base. While making money from your art is important, especially if its your full-time job, connectivity is essential. 

Your Authenticity is Needed Now

While in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, digesting heart wrenching injustices worldwide, we could all use a bit of relaxation. Its healthy to disconnect from the news and social feeds, pick up a hobby you’ve always wanted to master and go for it. Andre’s decision to do something new and release it into the world came at the perfect time. It’s also a great addition to your creativity playlist.