Q&A — BIA Talks New Album ‘Really Her’ Ahead of Cervantes’ Show

BIA, the explosive rapper from Massachusetts, is gearing up for her performance at Denver’s Cervantes’ Other Side with openers, Lakeyah and Lebra Jolie, and she couldn’t be more excited. In a candid conversation with 303 Magazine, BIA revealed some of the inspiration behind her latest album, Really Her, including big names she worked with and how she reinspires herself every day. From songs that took months to perfect, to what she’s missing most on tour the most, BIA made it known that she’s really her and she’s here to stay. With this only being her second time in Denver and her first headlining here, the artist made it clear what type of energy she’ll bring to Five Points tonight.

Photo courtesy of BIA on Facebook.

303 Magazine: Were there any goals or intentions you had for this album before you started it?

BIA: Absolutely. I really wanted this album to be worldly. I wanted it to be a reflection of a lot of the places that I’ve visited in the past couple of years. As far as culture, I wanted to be very diverse. I wanted to dip in and out of different genres effortlessly.

303Were there genres or styles you needed to have on this album?

BIA: Not one particular sound, but the hardest part for me would probably be merging all the sounds. So it’d be like merging, like, drill beats with Dumbo or like, reggaeton elements with dancehall mixed with I’m a piano, or like, afro beats kind of elements. It’s like mixing all those genres together was not easy for us.

It took months. One transition alone — the transition from “Four Seasons” to “Oh, No.” That transition alone took us, like, maybe two or three months to get right, but we just kept trying different things.

303: Can you share some of the artists or genres that inspired you during your creative process?

BIA: I was really inspired by a lot of the collabs I’ve done recently like “London” with J. Cole. After I did that collab, I just approached my writing so differently. I paid way more attention to the detail and the lyrics and I wanted every line to mean something and say something. So I think the songs that follow that collaboration are definitely more lyric-heavy. I’m also inspired by ODUMODUBLVCK , Yaisel LM, Tion Wayne— all my international collaborations definitely inspired me to get in a different bag.

303: This won’t be your first time in Denver, correct?

BIA: I’ve actually only been to Denver one other time on the Don Toliver Tour, so I’m excited. This is my first time seeing who’s going to pull up for me in Denver […] I love intimate venues because I feel like that’s when you can really have a moment with your fans and you can connect with everyone.

Photo courtesy of BIA on Facebook.

303: You’ve been non-stop touring for nearly two years. Is there something you especially miss when you’re on the road or abroad touring?

BIA: The thing I miss the most, I would say is my family. I miss my grandparents and my little sister a lot. Nothing like home-cooked meals and when your little sister might be annoying you and then when you don’t see her for a while, you’re like, “Dang, I miss them annoying me.”

303: What can people expect as a part of the show here in Denver at Cervantes?

BIA: One thing I’ve really been working on in my rehearsals is my dance moves. A lot of people have always told me I’m big on high energy. I’ve always been on tours with people that have really high energy. Don Toliver and people like Russ and just people that have really good energy on tour. So I’m used to that. But I’ve never been dancing this much so I say there’s a lot more to my show. There’s a lot more as far as engagement and I really took my time on the set list and making sure things flow like how I feel like I’d want it to flow on my album. I think the set tells a story through the last few years.

303: In an industry that’s constantly evolving, how do you stay true to your authentic self and your music while also adapting to the changing trends and audiences?

BIA: I’m true to myself in terms of what I want and what my vision is, what my message is, and I stand on that. However I feel, I commit to it. There’s usually no medium with me. How I feel is how I feel, and I’m going to go all the way with it. So I think that that’s how I managed to stay myself. I take note of criticism, but I’m not easily impressionable.

303: What are your plans and aspirations for the future of your music career and can we expect any exciting projects or collaborations on the horizon?

BIA: I’ve already been working on my next project simultaneously. I’m always creating, I’m always making music, and right now, I’m dipping into the R&B space. So I’m excited to let people hear me sing and test out with different sounds that I have yet to do. So that’s really exciting for me. Also, I’ve been moving into the business entrepreneur space a little bit more. I have my makeup line, Beauty For Certain, and I love just being able to watch it grow and just follow my passion.

Photo courtesy of Jen Vesp Photography on Facebook.

303: If somebody hasn’t heard you or your music, what is the one song you want them to listen to on this album?

BIA: I’m kind of split between two—”Raise the Stakes” because I’m really talking on that song and I’m split between “Four Seasons” because of that switch-up when you get to that reggaeton section at the end of the song.

303: If you were to sum up this album in three words, what would they be?

BIA: Authentic. Electric. Elite.

Buy tickets to BIA’s show tonight at Cervantes’ here!

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