BOSCO Is Learning How To Win

“I never stopped moving, and I learned how to fail successfully. I failed, and I learned, and I got better at my craft.”
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BOSCO knows how to sell herself. The 34-year-old Georgia native, born Brittany Bosco, was surrounded by music from a young age. A classically trained opera singer, Bosco sang in her local church and soaked in tunes at family barbecues familiar to many a Black Southerner. As she grew older, music became more alluring even as the business aspect of it escaped her. 

“I just thought you got paid to sing, and somebody would randomly discover you,” she explains over the phone. “That’s the ‘90s dream everyone will feed you.” 

Of course, Bosco’s ‘90s dreams eventually met a sobering reality. As a student at the Savannah College of Art & Design, she leaned hard into music, releasing her first two projects—2008’s City of Nowhere and 2009’s Spectrum 2.0to relatively little fanfare. In 2014, Bosco’s kaleidoscopic combination of soul and funk attracted the attention of Fool’s Gold Records, with whom she would release music for the next three years.

In 2017, the same year Bosco released her b. EP, she also founded Slug, a record label and artist agency explicitly created for artists of color. 

“I’m establishing my own formula and being the beta before I decide to bring any other artists into it,” she says.

Bosco’s latest project, Some Day This Will All Make Sense, released on March 31, via Slug Records and EMPIRE, is the first fruit of her labor. The project wafts between breezy funk cuts (“Champagne,” “Take Off”) and sedate meditations on self (“Piano Song”) meant to soundtrack the various stages of self-acceptance. The twinkling guitars and anxious questioning of “Petal” (“Struggle, pass out / Look around and see the ground / Even the gods don’t understand the formulas they give us”) occupy the same space as the swaying confidence of “Paid In Full.” “If you want change / How could you stay the same?” Bosco raps. 

With Slug on the rise and her music currently reaching the right ears, it won’t be long before Bosco’s vision will begin to make sense to the rest of the world. Our conversation, lightly edited for content and clarity, follows below.

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DJBooth: When did you know you wanted to make music for a living?

BOSCO: I always knew I wanted to make music, but I wasn’t sure how to monetize or how to make a living from it. I just thought you got paid to sing, and somebody would randomly discover you. That’s the ‘90s dream everyone will feed you. Once I got in college, I learned that this was something I was good at, and I could make a living off it and share my art with people.

What inspired you to name your latest project Some Day This Will All Make Sense?

It’s crazy how the name of the project is so parallel to the current state of the world and global issues right now. I almost feel like I have some kind of psychic powers. I came up with [the title] a long time ago, and the theme is that a mass majority of people always try to figure out every little thing about their life without fully trusting that every step and every decision is another puzzle piece and it will always make sense. It’s like a mantra for me knowing I have to trust my gut.

On “Champagne,” you say, “I don’t wanna fall from grace / It’s so easy.” What are you doing to maintain balance in your professional and personal life?

These days, my productivity comes from not allowing my mind to drift to [places] that I’ve overcome and not going back to places I’ve grown out of. That could be taking a walk or reading or journaling. Artists get so caught up in feeling the need to create; there’s a time to release and a time to pull back into yourself, and I’m in a place where I’m pulling back into myself. That looks like repotting and watering my plants; that looks like aromatherapy and listening to Oprah podcasts and lots of Fela Kuti. I’m cool with that.

I’m glad you mentioned Fela Kuti. His music is so grounding right now.

[Fela Kuti’s music] is so transformative right now. Niggas like Fela Kuti, Sun Ra, and Bob Marley were in 2020 in the 1970s. They were tapped into some other frequencies before we even got to this place. The reason I’m gravitating to them right now is their music has some secret coding that resonates with my internal frequencies, and it calms and soothes me. I love all the cool playlists and the Spotify shit, but, to get through this part right, niggas gotta be tapped in on some other shit. To be on the same level spiritually, we gotta go back. It’s some type of science in these older records that it’s important to be tapped in with right now.

Walk me through the story you’re telling across Some Day This Will All Make Sense.

I told stories through each of the song titles on the project. “Paid In Full” is me saying that as long as I have my basic necessities and my friends and family, I’ll make it. Another part of that is checking in with yourself and reassuring yourself that you are all you need to accomplish whatever you set your heart and your mind to. I feel like “Attention” was speaking from the perspective of a girl who’s a boss and does her own thing but still needs reassurance. “Petal” is my most personal track because I was going through a lot that day and put all of me out there: “Struggle, pass out / Look around and see the ground / Even the gods don’t understand the formulas they give us.”

The overall story I’m trying to tell with this project is one of self-realization and accountability. Artists have the luxury of masking things behind the music instead of dealing with stuff from an objective unemotional standpoint; that’s what I wanted to do with this project.

SDTWAMS is your first release on your new label, Slug Records. What have been some of the benefits and challenges of running the show?

You say label; I say umbrella. The only reason I say this is because labels have such a stigma right now. I’m establishing my own formula and being the beta before I decide to bring any other artists into it. Content is collateral at this point, and when I get to the point of being able to help artists, I’m interested in offering content deals.

My strength is in being able to communicate with a broader audience visually. Visuals are so important when it comes to a creative rollout, and I have a team that’s dope at what they do. We never had to compromise our style of art to get brands and corporations to come to us; they came to us on our terms. We can take that same model and do it for other artists and bring their ideas and voices to life. 

A lot of the time, labels use whoever they have in-house without consulting with the artists about what they want to do: How do you want to be visually represented? What are cool, innovative activations we can do surrounding your projects? That’s where [Slug] comes in; let us shoot the video, let us do the creative [rollout] for that. It’s not, “Here’s a deal; we need five singles.” Niggas can record an EP in the bedroom and put it out; what are you offering? It gives me a chance to add something different to the conversation of labels.

What’s the greatest lesson you’ve learned between the time you released Boy in 2015 and now?

In 2015, I was young and happy to be on somebody’s label. I was underground for so long; I was just happy to be doing something. There’s been a lot of trial and error since then, but I wouldn’t change any of it because if I didn’t have 2015, I wouldn’t have Slug Records. Being at a [record] label taught me a lot, and I was grateful for Fool’s Gold being a stepping stone and an incubator for talent like me to get to the next level. But the biggest thing I’ve taken from this journey so far is niggas don’t get to where they need to go until they stop moving. I never stopped moving, and I learned how to fail successfully. I failed, and I learned, and I got better at my craft. Someday, this will all make sense. 

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