Mancy Gant

Bosco's 'Piano Song' Began As An Open Letter To Her Mother

She talked to MTV News about experimenting in the studio, living as an artist, and making cinematic visuals

R&B singer Bosco will tell you herself that she doesn’t open up easily. “I’m a Capricorn, so I don't really talk about my true feelings,” she tells MTV News. “I like to hold it in.” The Savannah, Georgia-born artist has spent nearly a decade as one of the genre’s most well-kept secrets; in that time, she’s let her music do the talking, releasing intensely personal music as well as what she’s called “girlfriend music” — “the kind that you put on when you’re in the living room and talking and catching up on life.”

This time, ahead of her new seven-song project, Some Day This Will All Make Sense, she’s gone cinematic, releasing brief visual accompaniments for the tracks. “I’m a big fan of movie trailers and those ‘90s perfume commercials, so they were big parts of the thought processes behind these,” she tells MTV News over the phone. “I feel like we are inundated with so much information all the time that it really only takes your consumer, your fans, 30 seconds to a minute to really get the concept. So I just wanted to draw that point home and make them want more.”

This thoughtfulness aligns with what has made Bosco one of the most interesting singers to rise out of the Atlanta music scene. Since her 2008 debut EP, Spectrum, and through 2017’s B., she’s existed at the outskirts of soul, slowly growing her fanbase with her classic and pure timbre, featured in songs on HBO’s hit series Insecure and Netflix’s On My Block. On “Piano Song” — the latest taste of Some Day, out today (March 17) — she serenades a neglected other in front of black and white keys, staring at a picture and realizing that all we really have in the end are our memories.

“It started as an open letter to my mom,” she says about the tune that was inspired by the very act of being an artist. “It’s a very selfish act. Even though you’re giving to the world, I missed moments that I can’t replace. I’m doing what I love, but I’m sorry that I can’t be at my brother’s graduation, or doing things like that.”

The song comes with an accompanying minute-long video full of symbolic skateboards (“continuous thought”) and outstretched hands (“trying to hold onto moments, but you can’t really grasp them”). The entire vibe of “Piano Song” is much different than the carefree “Paid in Full,” the project’s first single. The latter song, inspired by Bosco’s friend, turns its head up to the sky as the singer looks for happier times with friends through the guise of “brighter days.”

“‘Brighter days’ means sharing your success with your friends, family, and your loved ones,” she says. “‘Brighter days’ are just being socially conscious and very in tune with yourself and the world around you.” Its equally dreamy video finds Bosco and a large group of friends on a porch just enjoying the sunlight. They know that swell times are in the seven-day forecast.

“Brighter days” are at the center of the optimistically titled Some Day This Will All Make Sense, set to drop in April. The project is a personal journey defined by the “This” in the title. “‘This’ is the failures, the times, the trials, the successes, the time that I thought that I shouldn't go into something,” she explains. “It’s kind of like open letters and accountability for things that you might not have done so well.”

The experimentation Bosco brought to her Some Day videos also crept up in the studio as she recorded it. For one song, she and some collaborators “put the microphone in the middle of the room and we were just walking around it and yelling stuff out,” she says. “I felt, when I wanted to sing ugly, I would sing ugly. When I wanted to sound angelic, I would do that. When I wanted to rap, I would do that.”

Some Day finds Bosco doing all of the above, confidently crossing genre lines and opening up, after all, via the process. “I didn’t really want to limit myself or hold back because of traditional R&B standards,” she said. “I think that way of thinking is a bit archaic and it really doesn’t push the Black voice or the narrative forward in any way. So I was just happy to be able to explore.”