Boston-based artist/emcee, BIA has been rocking to her own beat since the beginning. Her music is her own kind of rap inspired by the people, places, and things that surround her with a blend of Latin and trap sounds. BIA's infectious rhymes caught the attention of rapper, Fam-Lay who introduced her to long time collaborator and producer, Pharrell Williams. Since signing with Williams' label i am OTHER, BIA has released her first mixtape titled, #CHOLASEASON and joined Ariana Grande on her Dangerous Woman tour. Guided by her dedication, BIA continues to remain true to her culture, her art, and herself, and has nowhere to go but up. Learn more about BIA below.
How did your journey in music begin?
My journey in music began by finding a way to channel and express my emotions with my passion. I wasn't hearing the music I wanted to hear so it inspired me to make my own.
How does your culture influence your music?
My culture influences my music because it's who I am. I implement different elements of my culture into my music to bridge the gap between different people and places. I think I'm a melting pot of different cultures so I like to let that shine through my music.
Who are your musical inspirations?
I'm inspired by the people around me and the motions of life more than anything. But when it comes to people in music I've looked up to, it's Aaliyah, Selena, Rihanna, and Left Eye.
What is one of the greatest lessons you've learned from your career thus far in 2017?
The greatest lesson I've learned from my career thus far is to stay humble and enjoy the moment. I think as people when we accomplish one thing, it's only natural to set our next goal and work toward achieving it; by doing that we can lose sight of that very moment. I'm learning to enjoy all of the moments that lead up to the next phase in my career.
“Every time I do a show I meet new fans and see how music changes people's lives, and that's what makes it easy to keep going."
You were discovered by Fam-Lay and are now under Pharrell's i am OTHER music label, how has this experience been for you?
It's been a major blessing to have Fam and Pharrell by my side from start to finish. It's like having two big brothers that have been through everything I'm going through. To have them guide me, push me, and believe in me is everything.
The rap and hip hop industries are known for being male dominated, what challenges have you faced as a female rapper?
Honestly, I've never considered myself a "female rapper," especially since I've grown with my music and experimented with different genres like Latin and R&B. I think there will always be people that don't like female rappers, just like there will always be people that don't want a female president, but that doesn't stop us from rapping or running. I'm grateful for the male support I do receive and I think that when it's real, male or female, they know.
What advice would you give to aspiring female rappers?
I would tell them don't listen to any advice and just stay true and stay humble.
What do you like to do when you are not working? How do you #SelfCare?
When I'm not working I try to spend a lot of time with my family, that's always a refreshing reminder of why I'm out doing what I'm doing. I love to catch up on sleep and eat real food.
Despite the tragedy in Manchester, how have you been able to stay resilient on tour?
Every time I do a show I meet new fans and see how music changes people's lives, and that's what makes it easy to keep going.
What is next for BIA?
I'm at the best point in my career that I could ever be at spiritually, mentally, and physically. I'm ready to bring something real to the table that women can feel and relate to.
What does MISSBISH mean to you?
Boss women uplifting each other and breaking down the conventional ideology of how we should speak and act.
Who is your MISSBISH? Tell us who she is and why she's an inspiration to you.
My MISSBISH is every girl out there who doesn't feel like she has to meet the standards of social media, TV, or a man. I do this for them every day; the real girls.
Photos by: Tasha Bleu