BIA wants her music to empower you to dump your bummy boyfriend

Rapper, singer, songwriter, and newest Galore cover girl, BIA, was discovered via YouTube and immediately signed to Pharrell William’s i Am Other music label. BIA has toured with powerhouse pop star Ariana Grande, and one of her mentors is Pharrell himself (casual).

She got her nickname of BIA on accident, and she swears her tour rider is messed up. Check out the interview with her below to get to know this artist a little better. 

How did you figure out your stage name, BIA?

My name is Bianca, and the first three letters of Bianca are B, I, and A. When I was around 12, all my friends used to call me BIA. This is before BIA was ever a thing.

You know those name plate belts? They were like, $25 a letter. This is back when we were young and didn’t have money to buy $100 belts. But, all my friends pitched in and bought me a belt that said Bia. From then on, I wore the belt, and that’s how it came about.

How do your Latina roots influence your music?

I think culture lives in us. I’m half Puerto-Rican, so it’s my culture and part of who I am. It comes into my music without me even know, because it’s who I am.

You’ve said that sometimes it feels like you’re not Latina enough – do you feel a pushback from the community because you’re mixed-race? How do you think you’re paving the way for other mixed-race artists on the come-up?

No, I feel like I get the opposite. At the beginning I was nervous because I felt I wasn’t Latin enough. I don’t fit into the cookie cutter Reggaetonero style, so I always felt like I wasn’t going to be enough. But, I found that by being true to myself and doing the things I do know, people were into it.

Overalls, Beret: Hardware LDN, Shoes: Bia’s own, Jewelry: Vidakush, Bra Top: House of CB

READ ALSO: Revenge star Christa B Allen is back and making liberating music with her boyfriend

What was it like getting into the music scene in Boston? Was there a point in your career when you realized you maybe needed to head out to LA?

That’s so funny, because they say if you can make it at home then you can make it anywhere! For me, making it at home was extremely difficult, because no one knew me as an artist. I was just a regular person. Once you break that threshold of being a regular person to following your dreams, people are envious of that.

I experienced a lot of doubt in myself from family and friends, and I felt like I didn’t have the resources in Boston. At the time, there were only two studios in Boston for me to record and it was expensive. I felt like I had to move so that I could learn and record more.

What helps you get in the zone for writing?

Can I say weed? (laughs) I need to be in my own zone. When you’re smoking a joint and you’re by yourself, you get in that meditation mode. That’s it. It’s on a higher frequency.

What was your favorite stop on the tour with Ariana Grande and why?

I would have to say Amsterdam. It was the most fun for us as far as tourism. There was good food and some really cool sides. We had a lot of fun.

Overalls, Beret: Hardware LDN, Shoes: Bia’s own, Jewelry: Vidakush, Bra Top: House of CB

What was something that you learned while on tour with Ariana that you didn’t know about the industry or yourself before?

I learned a lot about Ariana’s work ethic. It motivated me to see how hard she works. It fueled me! I saw that she’s not just this great because she’s this great, she’s this great because she puts in a shit ton of work. It made me ask myself, “How badly do you want it?” If you want it, you really gotta work for it.

Pharrell has described you as “unfiltered, unapologetic, and unconventional.” What are three words that you would use to describe your style of music?

Unfiltered, unapologetic, and powerful. Powerful first, though. I want to inspire women to say, “Man, fuck that boyfriend. Fuck that job.”

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You love repping some really unique designers – who is your favorite to wear right now?

I can’t pick just one. I love Off White and I love Y Project.

Jacket & skirt: Hardware LDN, Top: House of CB, Jewelry: Vidakush, Glasses: Vintage, Shoes: Ijiin

If you were to perform on MTV’s “Unplugged,” what cover would you do?

I would do a Lauryn Hill cover, not sure what song, though.

Who would you die to go on tour with?

Rih!!! All day. That would be such a badass tour.

What’s on your tour rider?

Oh my god, my tour rider’s so filthy. You won’t know who’s back there. I’ll have a steamer, tea, throat coat, honey, and a fruit plate. And then the other side of it will be like indica, lighters, and Hennessey.

What’s your must have beauty item right now?

Giorgio Armani makes this foundation that’s got like glitter in it. It’s super illuminated. That shit makes it look like you dunked your head in wet gold.

READ ALSO: Turns out actress Lucy Hale is a face mask hoarder

Jacket & skirt: Hardware LDN, Top: House of CB, Jewelry: Vidakush, Glasses: Vintage, Shoes: Ijiin

Dress & choker: Hardware LDN, Shoes: Vintage, Coat: J Gerard, Glasses: Wildfox

Highlighter or contour?

Ugh. Well yeah, I’d have to choose contour.

Fenty Beauty or Tarte?

Fenty Beauty, of course! Their primer is so good. It feels like a moisturizer.

What’s next for BIA?

Creating my own lane and checking things off of my bucket list. Billboard, headling my own tour. Things like that.

Dress & choker: Hardware LDN, Shoes: Vintage, Coat: J Gerard, Glasses: Wildfox

Photos by Nikko Lamere

Styling by Alexandra Mandelkorn

Makeup by Brooke Hill

Hair by Preston Wada

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