BOSCO, The Embodiment of Millennial Business Savvy
The Fool’s Gold Records singer opens up about her craft and creative agency.
Spend a good 10 minutes scouring the internet and you’ll find a handful of articles railing against Millennials. Let your favorite business editorials tell it and we’re lazy, social media addicted cry babies who want more than we deserve. The children of an era where we were awarded for simply participating, Millennials are thought of as the generation of the impatient and self-absorbed. That is, if you ask the Baby Boomers who can’t seem to see the flaws in their own judgment.
Generation Y and those following us are full of some of the most creative, enterprising, well-informed, and straight up hungry people you’ll ever meet. We know a handful of things that have ultimately forced us into survive and sustain mode since we turned our tassels at graduation. Pensions will be a thing of the past. No job cares about you enough to keep you employed for your whole life. No job is worth your misery, pursue your passion. Last but not least, you better own something.
It’s scary to step outside of the box society tells you to exist in. Making the choice to live in color is more difficult for some people than others. Then, there are the outliers. The people who grab their destiny by the horns and steer it in the direction they see fit. If BOSCO isn’t an outlier, I’m not sure what is.
Born in Savannah, GA and raised in Atlanta, BOSCO is a singer, artist, designer, and fashionista rolled in one. She’s been able to use every one of her skill sets to create a life and business that answers to her calling. That calling is to be as creative as possible and to provide opportunities. Her musical career is in a great place. She’s signed to Fool’s Gold Records, and her last projects have received rave reviews. However, her focus for the last year has been on something bigger. A creative services agency that brings the manifestation of Nickelodeon’s adult version to life. Slug is the name, and with it BOSCO has bossed up in a big way.
“I grew up in a very small town so my imagination was very wild and vivid. I had to create a world for me. There weren’t many fashion forward people. Being a black girl in the south you saw finger waves and bamboo earrings back in the 90’s. I knew there was more to it. I started making my own clothes and buying so much denim. I would make custom clothes even though I didn’t know how to sow so I would use hot glue. I was in ninth grade so I was just trying stuff. My aunts were cosmetologists so I grew up in the hair salon with women always talking about life, love, fashion, etc. I was the only child so I was influenced by older people. I used to steal my aunts clothes trying to be grown. I realized I had a voice in the latter part of high school and joined choir. I auditioned for SCAD (Atlanta’s School of Art and Design” for performing arts and got a scholarship for music. I ended up going to school for fashion. I learned how to use Photoshop, Illustrator and proper branding. It opened my pallet up to so much. In the 90’s early 2000’s I admired brandy, Aaliyah, and other girl groups I used to sing along to in the back of my mom’s honda civic.”
These early lessons at the school of arts would lay the foundation for BOSCO’s professional efforts down the road. She’s more than one dimensional and while music has proven itself to be a linchpin in her career, BOSCO continues to push the limits of her creativity. Slug has become the medium through which she puts that creativity to use. Having her own creative agency is much more than a cool thing to say. It’s a testament to what it means to be a Millennial. You’ve got to own something and the sooner the better. We don’t have the luxury of jobs that will loyally keep us employed for 20-30 years. Social Security? Forget about it. A get it how you live attitude? It’s engrained in us all, or at least it should be.
Slug is minority-driven business that leads the way in curating authentic identity and visual adventure for brands. They accomplish this through art direction, mixed media, event planning, set design, original content, and more. The team was built remotely across New York, Georgia, and Los Angeles through a slew of emails, Facetimes, and Google Spreadsheets.
“I had all these people who wanted to help, and I knew I had something bigger to say outside of music. People were just drawn to me. It’s a god given thing and I wanted to use my voice on a bigger platform. I spent 4 months developing the visual identity, the language, and the story board for it. I started putting out social posts to recruit more help. Slug is the bedroom kids, Radio kids who watched TV but they were listening to the radio in their bedroom making shit.
Their launch came when they hooked up with Snapchat to launch their latest product, ‘Spectacles’. Additionally, Slug has partnered with the likes of Blue Ribbon, 10 Deep, Fools Gold, Lugz, Heineken, and the list goes on. Their success if proof that the model of sitting in one office from 9-5 isn’t an absolute necessity, although BOSCO is landing on securing a headquarters eventually. Bosco gave me even more insight into her goals behind the agency, her music, and how she’s tying it all together.
Why is it important for Slug to be minority driven?
“I take the responsibility to be an example head on and whole heartedly. I definitely didn’t grow up privileged, but my family made it feel like we weren’t going without. I didn’t have all the tools, I was making graphics on Microsoft Clip Art and trying to Xerox copy stuff. I want to show my life and be that example. As far as the DIY movements you have to live it if you don’t have the resources. I hate this culture where we don’t share resources. We might not be able to work with you, but we can at least show you some love and keep the open door policy. Eventually we want to be a bigger publication like Complex, Juxtapose, etc. It’s my responsibility to show them there is a way.”
How will you balance Slug and your music?
“Music is still the focus. If it wasn’t for music I wouldn’t have this. Pharrell wouldn’t have ‘I Am Other’ if it wasn’t for the music. That’s why I have a team, just like Solange has Saint Heron. One isn’t more important than the other, they compliment one another.”
Any new tunes on the horizon?
“I’ve been working on music in the last year while working on Slug. I needed to get Slug out to finish my music. The new stuff is very vibey, expect some things to surface sooner than later.”
What words do you have for other millennials? It’s important for us to build our own business, and to do it early on. Any advice?
“I would say start with an internship. If I could change anything I would’ve interned straight out high school. That’s how you get in that world and finesse from there. Also, interning your last year of college so you can build your contacts. A lot of the game is who you know, your network. I know you might be the dopest at what you do, but it’s all about who you know. Do what you say you’re going do. If you’re always on top of stuff people will always think about you. Start small, do merch. Try partnering with different brands and local brands in your city. I did a lot of brand integrations which brought on bigger jobs.
As far as the big picture goes, BOSCO simply wants to be her complete self. Being fully confident in where she is as a woman, daughter, and hopefully a mother someday. She sees herself continuing to create music, but she sees fashion and a print publication in her future. Most importantly she wants to serve her community with a female focused organization in the long term. One thing’s for sure, BOSCO is far from a one trick pony and we’d better keep our eyes open for her next move. We’re surely in for a treat.
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