Ria Boss and Black Girls Glow share inspiration behind albums

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Ria Boss (photo credit: Dandano)

Ria Boss shares inspiration behind ‘Find Your Free’ EP
The weekends are never quiet. They are always filled with activities –either at the personal or social level. From domestic activities in the first half of the day to settling into an ambiance of fun later in the evening, one thing is certain: the heart and lungs of the city continue to beat and breathe unceasingly.

So, this past weekend, the Culartblog crew got busy on each day of the weekend; attending two exciting events at two different sides of the city. Curiosity and interest are the wheels on which we ride and the city never fails in offering those opportunities. One of the best mediums to gauge the vibrancy of the art scene in Accra is based on what happens mostly on weekends. Not a weekend goes by without the city hosting an art event.

On Saturday, AccradotAlt hosted singer Ria Boss_ on their ‘Sabolai Radio Set’, a series where artistes share their works and discuss the various inspirations behind their creations with fans. Ria Boss was on hand to share her six track EP, Find Your Free (which was released in April) and discuss the construction of the project with those present.

‘’Find Your Free’’ is a personal tale about her transition from a darker place to stepping into the sunlight. Ria Boss took the brave step of using her personal experiences- a bad relationship- to inspire others, especially her fellow ladies to find within themselves, the strength to step away from toxic relationships or the bubble of restrain. ‘’Find Your Free’’ is a ‘don’t let anything hold you back’ sermon.

During the Q&A session, it became clear that, the EP was a therapy session for Ria Boss after breaking free from the shackles of a bad relationship. A love relationship for her is a sacred thing which must not be taken for granted. In her view, if someone allows you into their life-which she called a ‘sacred ground’, you don’t sully it through acts of contempt or betrayal of trust.

With so many artistes serving as her influences, Ria Boss realized she had a knack for singing when her mother stopped driving to commend her talent as a child during a journey. But, it wasn’t until she went to the US (New York) and found herself in the midst of some very creative and artsy fellows that she took her singing seriously. That’s what I enjoy about album listening sessions-the backstories makes you appreciate the artiste and their work even better.

A confident soul who has unhinged herself from the shackles of the past and is now buzzing in a new world of freedom; living her life with little care about what others feel or say; confident enough to wear her vulnerabilities not as an logo of boast but to inspire others. She is a singer with bigger dreams.

Ria Boss is like the early morning sun: radiant, adorable, hopeful. That was the impression I left the AccradotAlt headquarters with about her.

PS: Ria Boss needs someone to gift her a cat since she couldn’t bring hers from the US. Show love to Hajia Kitty. 

                           

                       Black Girls Glow 

(Photo credit: Papa Oppog) 

One of the benefits of taking part in a residency programme is replicating what you learnt upon your return to advance the industry you find yourself in. One person who is doing just that is Poetra Asantewa. 

Upon her return from a ‘One Beat’ residency programme for poets, writers and musicians from across the world in the US last year, she conceived an idea to replicate same here in Ghana. The result is ‘Black Girls Glow’, an initiative that seeks to promote the works of female artist in various sphere of the arts world.

The first project under the ‘ ’ is the release of an album. The listening session was held on Sunday at the Front Back, a very serene hide out in Osu. Even though it’s located in a well-known neighborhood, it’s not an easy place to locate.

The album is 12 tracks long and features 6 female artistes – two poets (Poetra and Dzyadzorm); three singers (Cina Soul, Adomaa and Ria Boss) and one rapper (Fu). The themes of the album are mostly about empowerment and the challenges of being a woman.

‘Collaboration make things faster. It takes you far’– Poetra Asantewa

Work on the album began in January 2017, following the conception of the idea in October, 2016. There was a two day residency in April after which the recording process commenced.

The six artistes on the project were selected based on the fact that, they were the ones ‘directly available to me; who were within my community; who I thought would have the time and dedication’, according to Poetra. Although there are plans to include other women from diverse fields like producers, videographers, visual artistes, curators, promoters, this first project ‘would make it (the initiative) more vocal’, she explained

In the future, there would be a ‘submission process based on certain criteria that the artiste must meet’. On the creative process, she revealed they received over 40 beats from various producers and only 12 made the cut. Resources- financial and time- was limited and that impacted the creative process- studio time for instance was short as each artiste went in at various times.

It was such a delight to see artists like Bright Ackwerh, Papa Oppong and Isaac Opoku (winner of the 2017 Kuenyehia Art prize) donate some of their works for auction to support the ‘Black Girls Glow’ initiative.  And shouts to Irene Donati for being involved with this whole project.

Two spoilers though: The album spans different genres and artiste validated their presence on the project. They seek to release the project on Friday.

Follow @BlackGirlsGlow for more information.

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