Earlier this month, the singer Bosco released her debut EP, Boy, on the Fool’s Gold label. It’s a concise and effective project, filled to the brim with simmering, state-of-the-art R&B. Billboard caught up with the singer to chat about Atlanta’s music scene, her appreciation for the “consumer experience,” and the importance of putting out a “statement work” early in your career.
Congratulations on the EP release!
Thank you, I appreciate it. People are really gravitating towards the project, which is rewarding.
When did you start making music?
I started music when I was younger. You go to church, you start singing in the children’s choir, the adult choir. Then from there I did local talent shows and the chorus at school, and eventually I moved to Atlanta. There I really started becoming an artist. Atlanta is a good place for up-and-coming DIY, progressive artists because there’s a space and a lane for you to really nurture your project without being under a time limit. And there’s a scene down there and everyone knows each other — Awful [Records], Two-9 — and everyone collaborates. I moved up here a year ago.
How do you feel New York compares to Atlanta?
There are pros and cons for sure. I definitely like the music scene down there. Atlanta is known for trap and urban music, but they really have some cool underground artists who are really like pushing the culture forward and getting those eyes down there. The only reason why I wouldn’t stay in Atlanta honestly is ’cause there’s no PR or publications down there. Everybody covers Atlanta from New York to Cali to internationally. You’ve got to come to a New York to make some noise, but the culture is really down there.
Why do you think Atlanta has such a hot scene?
I feel like in Atlanta, you’re put into a certain situation: you have to create your creativity because of the lack of resources or the lack of eyes that may be on Georgia or that specific demographic. Then you have visual artists who really don’t have that platform, so you’re forced to create a bigger noise. Why do you think people like Awful? ‘Cause their shit is weird. You’re forced to create a different dialog and a different language when you don’t have shit.
So on the new EP, you have two interludes, which is unusual for a short release.
I look forward to interludes. I appreciate the consumer experience — seeing the commercials, physically going to get the CD and unwrapping it, looking at the pictures, and listening to the interludes. I just wanted to do that digitally. But we’re not in a world where people have 59 minutes to listen to your whole project. We’re a playlist a generation. They want to hear a dope playlist, they want to hear it chopped and screwed, they want to hear drops. I wanted to give a very full but very short album.
A couple of your earlier tracks — the Treasure Fingers collaboration and your song “MPH” — are more uptempo tracks, but you changed speeds on the new material.
Well a lot of this music was made during the winter months. It was colder and slower, and that had a lot to do with it. But that’s another side of me — I’m dropping another dance track next month with Treasure Fingers. As an artist, I needed to have a statement work to start off with. From there, I can veer off into other things. It was important to me that before I drop a whole project, I showed them this is what Bosco is and what you’ll be seeing. This is solidifying my songwriting skills, vocals, production. Establish that first, and then flex a little bit later.
Let’s talk about the song “Seventh” — it really stands out on the EP because of its epic sound.
I wanted that one to really feel like a journey. I wanted to create a narrative where it felt like you’re driving into infinity. You’re pulling that sense of big, of spacious.
Visuals seem important to you as well. How do you see your visuals fitting with your music?
I always see color palettes — when I hear certain things my little antennas go up. For this project, red, crimson was a reoccurring thing. I think it conveys how I want the music to feel. I’m also into avant garde art where you can leave the visual palette open for a consumer or a listener so they can put themselves into it.
If you could collaborate with one person who you haven’t yet collaborated with, who would that be?
Earl Sweatshirt. I’m hoping he’ll hear the EP and be like, ‘yo, let’s do an EP!’ He’s just a genius in his own right. Even hearing him talk makes me want to be sharper in how I handle things. He’s dope. I’ve got to work with him.