Philly native Guordan Banks may be a newcomer to some, but the singer-songwriter has worked with many of music’s heavyweights. From Keyshia Cole, Chris Brown, and rapper Meek Mill, to penning songs for John Legend, Banks has quickly been making a name for himself in the industry. Last year, Banks scored his first No. 1 song (“Keep You in Mind”) on the Billboard charts, an impressive feat for an independent artist.

Now, the 28-year-old artist is back with a new project and a powerful collaboration with one of Hollywood’s hottest men: Omari Hardwick.

Banks said he created “Hug” because he felt the world needed some positive energy.

“I wrote ‘Hug’ because it was needed; everybody needs support right now. This is a time when everyone could use a hug, so this was my call to action. Just one simple touch from above can make all the difference,” he told EBONY. “God always has the final say.”

While Banks’ lyrics are soulful and poignant, Hardwick–who’s also a poet–adds another layer of spiritual intensity to the track.

“I recently discovered Omari’s incredible talent as a spoken word artist and we met back stage at the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) Awards Show in Miami last year, not knowing we would soon create such a meaningful and powerful song – everything happens for a reason.”

The actor called the collaboration a gift.

“’Hug’ was a Christmas in July gift for me,” he said. “I had tripped upon the super-gifted Guordan Banks’ music sitting in the parking lot to my gym one day. And it of course took me 30 minutes to exit the car after hearing that soul and voice.”

When the pair connected at ABFF, it felt like fate.

“Months later, I am at the American Black Film Festival with my God brother presenting an award to Jeff Friday, who had Guordan as the opening musical act. I started to excitedly tell my brother that THIS is the guy I had been talking about!” he recalled.

Hardwick continued, “We meet backstage and exchanged info. A month after that, now July, Guordan reaches out asking if I wanted to work with him on a song. I responded, ‘When do we start?’ He sent me ‘Hug’ and the rest is history. Here we are hugging each other still…and in a world that needs a hug more than ever before.”

Listen to the uplifting new song, “Hug,” from Guordan Banks and Omari Hardwick.

*Video by Aaron Tropf