Jon Batiste on How Quarantining with Girlfriend Suleika Jaouad Made Them Closer

"I find that this time has also been a blessing,” says Batiste of finding moments of joy amid the pandemic

Photo: Donna Ward/Getty Images

Jon Batiste is a busy guy. The musician and Late Show with Stephen Colbert bandleader, who just picked up a Golden Globe Award for his work on Disney Pixar's Soul, is gearing up to release his new album, We Are, out March 19.

Recently he called in to the PEOPLE Every Day podcast to open up about the new music, his hectic work schedule and life with girlfriend Suleika Jaouad during quarantine.

"Music keeps me young," the 34-year-old musician told host Janine Rubenstein, after beginning the interview with an impromptu serenade. "My [album] has life and is an artistic achievement [that has components] of the past, present and future. I can't wait to share it."

For this album, Batiste opens up his personal world like never before, and features girlfriend of 10 years, Emmy Award-winning writer Suleika Jaouad, on one emotional track. Jaouad is sampled on the song "Show Me the Way," which exemplifies the manifestation of their relationship.

"It speaks to a lot of me growing up and also our relationship," Batiste said of the song. "It's a beautiful thing to have that piece of our relationship sliced off into the album."

The couple, like so many, have only grown closer over the past year due to the pandemic and quarantining together.

"Obviously there's so much loss that we've faced individually and collectively, but I find that this time has also been a blessing in that it gives us a break to be with each other," he said.

It's also given Batiste a chance to flex his other muscle, in the kitchen.

"I've been cooking a lot more and just been using that as a form of meditation," he said of a favorite pastime. "It's one of my favorite things to share with people, too. Just [to] share a meal is a beautiful thing."

Check out more from Batiste on PEOPLE Every Day, airing on iHeartMedia, Apple podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Amazon Music or wherever you listen to your podcasts.

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