Accra Is Switched On To Ria Boss’ Freedom Sound

RIA BOSS stops by the Sabolai Radio Sets this Saturday, 1st July to showcase her new EP, Find Your Free. Photo: Mantse Aryeequaye

Something about RIA BOSS is a little reminiscent of Ghanaian Highlife afficionado Asabea Cropper. Asabea is a multi-instrumentalist who produced her own jams, many of which young people have partied to throughout Ghana in the 1980s and early 90s. Ria’s sound is very different from Asabea’s but equally warm and sensual. Ria produces her own music, too, and is well on her way.

Ria Boss recently left the U.S. after going through an intense “missing Ghana” phase. Months later, she has gifted us with a  strange and melodic EP, Find Your Free.  It’s an opportune entry at a period when Accra’s counter culture scene has become more visible. This also means there are a few more outlets in the city that will embrace her sound and support it.

Ria brings much needed buoyancy into the space along with other music innovators who are putting out new material practically every week. Currently Accra has a bubbling experimental music scene that is beginning to own its space – one EP at a time. Ria’s music palette echoes toward vintage Bogga Highlife [from 1980s Ghana], Black Southern Baptist spirituals and Sunday gospels from the church of her grandmother, whom she speaks of fondly and repeatedly.

 

Ria Boss in James Town Accra, Akanmajen. Photo: Mantse Aryeequaye

 

This EP also sounds like a very personal project – turning emotions into characters and images that allowed for writing openly about intimate discomforts.  Find Your Free is notably diverse from the opening to the last song and Ria’s production style of dreamy ambient synths overlaid with her tonal vocals is a perfect fit.

 Saturday, July 1st marks Ria Boss’ first visit to the Sabolai Radio Sets (ACCRA [dot] ALT’s space in James Town, Brazil House 6-9pm). We chat about being an immigrant in the U.S., Trump, her music influences and returning to Ghana. Watch it here.

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