PETERSBURG, Va. (WWBT) - Recording artist and Petersburg native Trey Songz hosted a mural unveiling in the city on Wednesday.
The block party was held on Bank Street where the mural was painted. Songz is no stranger to Petersburg-centric events and has visited the city twice during the summer to participate in the Richmond protest and for a citywide food drive.
Wednesday’s block party was organized in commemoration for the superstar’s latest album titled ‘Back Home.’ The event drew in hundreds of people making proper social distancing a challenge, however, most of those who attended wore masks the entire time, including Songz.
“Throughout the pandemic, a lot of things have changed for a lot of people, but another day alive is another day to be great and be grateful,” said Songz. “Anytime I can take a moment for us to celebrate one another, not just me, this is a celebration of us.”
Songz didn’t just use the mural unveiling as an opportunity to remind himself of his roots, but he also used it as an opportunity to lift up the talents of a local Richmond artist.
“It was just a special call to kind of lock-in and have a hometown hero to reach out to you to get some artwork done,” said Richmond muralist, Jason Ford. “This is actually my second mural working at this large-scale.”
“We’re giving him his flowers while we’re still, he’s still here to smell them, and that the big thing for us,” said Ford.
Ford said he was approached by Songz after the artist noticed his work on his social media pages. Working mostly with dozens of cans of spray paint, Ford says he began the mural last Saturday and spent much of the celebration on a mechanical lift filling in the final portrait of Songz. Ford says he hopes to have the mural completely finished before the end of the week.
“We started small and we scaled this thing up, and so once I get in close to it, I’m filling in shapes,” said Ford. “I come down to take a look at it and I’m back up here on this lift to go in and tighten everything up.”
Ford says once the mural is officially completed, he hopes that inspires anyone who walks past it to know that they can also aspire to greatness as long as they never forget where they came from.
“We just want to band together and celebrate the positive stuff that’s going on here in the city,” said Ford. “I hope that it just inspires others to tap in and focus in on whatever their special talent is and just use it as an inspiration.”
“For us to come together at this moment where there has been a lot of violence, a lot of grief, a lot of hurting in the community, it feels good to give something back,” said Songz.
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