Adia Victoria is establishing a fresh reference point on the musical landscape. From blood-born howls to idiosyncratic phrasing, she is the big red dot saying You Are Here. The Nashville-based artist travels the lands of rock, afro punk, and country, squarely situated in the continent of the Blues.
Ask about her artistic goals, and the songwriter/vocalist will say, “I want to shine a light on the unseen, and speak the unspeakable.” Adia Victoria is a truth teller. She admits, “I don’t necessarily paint myself in a flattering light. This isn’t the pop version of pretty or the strategically posed pretty-ugly. Sometimes I’m just ugly. There’s a brat in some of these songs, selfish, naïve, vengeful, but there’s also a tender eye that just wants the listener to feel seen and understood.”
Rolling Stone Magazine featured Adia Victoria as one of “10 New Artists You Need to Know.” The Village Voice called her an “eerie, intriguing songwriter,” with “bone chilling guitar riffs and lyrics topped with candid scorn. Vogue highlighted the recording artist as one of “5 Beauties Who Answer to Afropunk’s Rebellious Call.”
Any forces that tried to tell the former ballet dancer/telemarketer/French major to play small, failed. Growing up in Spartanburg, South Carolina and raised in a strict, Seventh Day Adventist atmosphere, she knows about feeling less than whole. But following her inner voice, and creating a new life for herself in New York, Atlanta, and now Nashville (with stints in Paris and Germany) honed a self-assured voice that resists the outside gaze. She explains, “I wrote this album as a memorial to my 20s. Those are tender years for a lot of women. It hurts. You get busted up in love and life. You make a lot of mistakes. You meet a lot of people who do you dirty because you don’t understand your value yet.”
Adia Victoria spent the last few years writing, recording, touring and performing, while entrenched in the infamous artist R&R world – restaurants and retail work. Day jobs at a laundry list of Nashville “it” and not so “it” spots gave the musician lots of people watching time as well as the mental and emotional space to marinate in her art.
Adia blows the social hush-hush lid off the mental and emotional state of a young black woman growing up under the poverty line in the Deep South and all the implications of such. No pretense. No jive. But also, like the writing of Eudora Welty and Tennessee Williams, there is plenty of Southern Gothic styled, marrow deep joy.