Adia Victoria is one of those artists that really leaves a lasting impression. I sat down with her for a few minutes before her show in St. Louis to talk about her upcoming album, Beyond the Bloodhounds, her experiences and music.
Music Existence: You’re on tour to promote your album coming out May 13th. What can fans expect on the record?
Adia Victoria: I think they can expect a fuller picture to be painted of the little snippets that they’ve seen of my art so far. I’ve kind of been very hesitant to categorize myself or to allow other people to categorize me because I don’t think that one label can hold my art and what I do. And I think it would be a shame to try and stick to one sound, so I’m just experimenting. I’m kind of flexing my muscles in the studio and figuring out how I translate all these emotions into something I can share and you can hear and sing along to.
ME: Your music and lyrics feel raw and honest. Your truth. What is your truth right now and how have your truths evolved?
Adia: I think my truth right now is that life is ever changing. That who you are is constantly changing. If you’re lucky, you’re constantly shifting and shaping, that there’s no final mold for you. That there’s no safe destination you’re going to reach to say “Ah ha!” I am who I am, you know? And I think we live in a culture where people want to be branded and identifiable, like ‘This is who I am” and “These are the things I like.” I’m realizing that my life changes everyday and my truth now is that happiness is learning to accept that change.
ME: Here we are, in St. Louis, where the Black Live Matter movement gained a lot of momentum. When you talk about being branded and identifiable, a lot of people think they either have to be supporters or non supporters. What do you say to those that argue “all lives matter’?
Adia: I think if all lives mattered, we wouldn’t need to have a Black Lives Matter movement. Its simple.
ME: I can imagine that making music and writing songs can engulf you. Do you have a song-writing process? Or is it random and spontaneous?
Adia: It usually goes like this. I try to learn a song and I’ll start learning it and I’ll get sidetracked like “Oh I like this element of a song, I’m going to change it.” I think its just being in that improvisational frame of mind where anything goes, where things happen. But when I sit down to just write a song, it never happens. I kind of not try. I can’t think of the end result. I kind of just have to be open to the process of art happening.
ME: You’ve lived all over the world and held many different roles in life. Do you feel like you’re living your dream? Or do you feel like you’re just acting on a series of realizations?
Adia: Its not a dream. Its my life. It is a series of realizations. I feel like I’ve always known that I would perform in some capacity. I didn’t know what. So I think now I’m just putting my art out there and people are responding to it. And its leading me to opportunities to allow me to work more. That’s kind of how I see my life. I do what I want, and the people that need to respond to it, they do.
ME: What do you hope to reveal in your music and on tour? How do you hope for people to relate to you and your message?
Adia: I would say that my biggest goal as a performer is to allow people to feel known. I feel like in pop culture right now the parts of ourselves that are spoken to are this very shallow surface – “I look like this” “I’m flawless”” I’m swag”. Its a very put on part of our personalities, which I understand the value of that and I get that. I know why that’s important, but for me I want to speak to people’s darker sides. Their sides that they might feel ashamed of, or they don’t speak about, or parts that have been silenced. That’s what I want to speak to.