BIA gives an exclusive interview to HipHopDX discussing the pitfalls of the music industry and why she got out of her original record deal.
0 Los Angeles, CA BIA exploded on to the music scene and most peoples radar when she was featured on RussBillboard Hot 100 hit, Best On Earth released in 2019. The song was everywhere in every Hip Hop and pop medium and quickly rose to become a commercial hit. Though the Puerto Rican-Italian rapper has been grinding in the music industry since 2014, initially being signed to Pharrells i am OTHER record label in a joint venture with RCA Records. Shes been on tour with Ariana Grande Pusha T and J Balvin. Also, shes performed at Coachella SXSW, AC3 and the REVOLT Summit BIAs career came to an abrupt halt with i am OTHER/RCA Records. The Boston-bred rapper was shelved and unable to release a project for over four years due to RCA and an A&R within the company, according to her. She was able to get out of her record contract and sign with Epic Records. BIA dropped her new single at the end of March called FREE BIA (1ST DAY OUT) with a music video to accompany it. The audiovisual aligns with her industry plights and newfound freedom. The track will be featured on her new EP Rich Tiers. During an exclusive interview with HipHopDX, BIA discusses what separates her from other female rappers, Rihannas post of Best on Earth and how she felt she was losing her sanity while being shelved for years. She exuded confidence and a genuine vibe throughout and it was clear she was completely sure of who she is as an artist and person. HipHopDX: Can you talk about FREE BIA (1ST DAY OUT) and the concept behind it? It came across as a fuck-the-industry type record. What was your thought process in making it? BIA: So I was in a deal, my last situation for a long time, about maybe four or five years, and I got shelved. So that was my first experience. Most people think when you think youre going to be an artist, youre like, Okay, Im going to put out this music. When most artists get signed they think, Okay, I made it. I got signed. That was unfortunately how I was at the time and I thought, Oh Im signed now. I made it. And it was quite the opposite. So going through that experience and that learning curve, it kind of grew me into a businesswoman. And that was a song that I recorded when I noticed four years down the line like, Damn this is what they really do to artists. Anytime you think you hear of artists and then they just disappear off the face of the earth, its not the artist that disappears off the face of the earth, chances are its a bad situation. So that was my ventilation before I got out and I wasnt able to release the song until I got out. HipHopDX: Wow. Thats a long time to go without being able to release a project. You were with, i am Other. Right? Pharrells label? BIA: It was actually with RCA. So like it was a joint venture between i am OTHER and RCA, I dont want to say it was more i am OTHER. i am OTHER was actually like, theyre good people. Theyre friends of mine. So its like, it wasnt more so them as much as I felt like it was RCA and the A&R at the time. HipHopDX: I know that had to be frustrating, how was that to go that long without making music? Youre an artist and you werent able to put out art. BIA: To be honest bro, it felt like prison. It felt like in a cell. It felt like I was going crazy. Towards the end of it I really felt I was losing my handle on my life. And I felt like, this is my life and I have no control over it. So thats what it felt like. Yeah, thats exactly what it felt like. I felt like I was going crazy. Thats why in FREE BIA (1ST DAY OUT) youll see in the beginning Im in a mental institution because thats basically what it felt like. HipHopDX: I know Fam-Lay brought you over to Pharrell, is he still managing you? BIA: Nope, hes not managing me no more, but we are still really good friends. HipHopDX: Thats cool. So, I like the play on words for your EP Rich Tiers. Its dope. Whats the meaning behind it? BIA: Rich Tiers was finding beauty in the sadness for me. That was probably the hardest time of my career, but it made me into the artist that I am now. Rich Tiers is a play on words. So, it means two things. It means the beauty in the sadness, like beauty in the tears. But also, I felt like me being a female in this industry, theres a lot of females that dont write their music. And I do take pride in being somebody that writes pretty much 97 percent of my music. I take a couple, a little line or a hook every once in a blue moon. But for the most part, I mean you can even look up the credits. If you look up my credit all my music, most of it, especially everything thats on Rich Tiers, its 100 percent written by me. So I really wanted to show like levels and I felt like with rap right now Im in my own level. So its like theres a lot of tiers when it comes to female rap. I just feel mine is a little bit higher. My caliber , even the stuff that I think is good. Im not here to say nobody elses music is good or bad, but Im just here to say their shit is not like mine. HipHopDX: And t