Photo: Brian Hicks
  /  11.09.2021

Saint Bodhi has a lot to be thankful for. Even before the Grammy-nominated South Central, Los Angeles native released her debut album, MAD WORLD, in 2020, she already worked with some of the biggest names in the music industry — including Queen Bey herself. With music described as “funky, melodic, and eclectic,” the singer/rapper/songwriter continuously taps into her life experiences to bring authentic storytelling to her songs.

Bodhi didn’t have the typical path to stardom. A poet at heart, she was initially behind the scenes writing for musicians across R&B and hip hop. After an intense bidding war, Def Jam’s Paul Rosenberg signed her to a publishing deal. After joining the Def Jam family, the talent began working with a laundry list of hip hop’s brightest artists including Jaden Smith, Kevin Gates, and A$AP Rocky. When it was her turn to step in front of the mic, Bodhi tapped into her community for inspiration.

She cites her home’s eclectic mix of jazz and underground hip hop as the foundation of her infectious and melodic tunes. In a previous interview, Bodhi shared, “South Central is music. It’s pure…art, pain, and realness. That’s all it is.” Raised on a diet of classic OG musicians by her grandparents, Bodhi’s musical influencers include the pioneer and icon Nina Simone, among others. Like Simone, her music has range. Her versatile catalog goes from deep and insightful — like her hit single “Flower Child” — to fun and playful, as seen on her latest EP, Antisocial. Her multi-layered and often profoundly personal music comes from a place of transparency and gratitude — often confronting both her complex past and bright future. Even her stage name, inspired in part by a Bodhi tree — taken from a story about the Buddha — and a former adulterous beau, are the perfect marriage of her past and present.

On her latest EP, Antisocial, she steps into new and exciting territory, stopping to give thanks for her spiritual growth, and celebrate her hard-won success on a vibrant, emotional, and joyful ride through R&B-laced heartbreak anthems (“Hurt Like Me”) and deep base-assisted moments of spiritual clarity (“Guide Me to the Light”). Like the title suggests, Bodhi is 100% fine being alone, choosing when to share her small glimmers of artistry with the rest of us. She has her art, peace, and sanity. So often, these intangible pieces are traded or even discarded, but not with Bodhi. She refuses to sacrifice her voice or her values and in the end, we get music that’s a beautiful mixture of both.

Whether with her Def Jam family or her LA family, Bodhi’s brings the same intense passion she has a mother, daughter, or friend to her music. The self-proclaimed “South Central chick with somewhat of an attitude, but hugs you at the same time” is a creative, loving, and fierce as her music. The talent doesn’t shy from her past and anticipates a bright future, and she is thankful for both. 


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