It’s kind of insane that it took as long as it did for the Record Co. to come into existence. A thriving nonprofit arts enterprise that provides rehearsal and recording space plus serves as a gathering point for a scene in desperate need of them, we could use 20 more such operations. Which is why it’s so exciting that the Record Co. is building a bigger and better home base. Here’s an update from its team:
In 2019, after 8 years and thousands of community recording sessions, we closed TRC v1, designed a new facility, fundraised like never before, and signed enough paperwork to make anyone’s head spin. And then … the ink on the last signature dried.
Hundreds and hundreds of pages of partnership agreements, construction contracts, financing documents, insurance policies, and more, all for one purpose: to build a new community music workspace for Boson’s next generation of music makers. And now for the best part. …
This year we’re kicking off a major expansion of our programs beginning with the construction of a larger and more capable facility to more equitably serve music makers with less access. In the new space we’ll partner with local professional development providers to intentionally support the growth and creative sustainability of women, queer and non-binary music makers, and music makers of color.
You can explore the new joint in virtual reality at vr.yulio.com/TfHa3MFFgi.
Bia on top
There’s a whole lot happening in New England hip-hop, including on the major label and national levels, which wasn’t always the case. Such success doesn’t always equal talent, but there are certainly some artists from the region who have managed to do numbers while maintaining their integrity and dropping music the whole country can enjoy. Worcester’s Joyner Lucas, who has collaborated with Enimen among countless others, comes to mind, as does Millyz, whose last interview with the Dig was one of our most viewed stories of 2019, we suspect because he’s hugely popular, and people want to know more about the Cambridge rapper (which they can also find in the long-form 2017 feature that we did on Millyz with our friends at the Boston-based black music site KillerBoomBox).
In any case, with so much buzz swirling, let’s not forget for a second to mention Bia, who may be making the biggest moves of all. The Medford model and MC has been at it for some time; at one point, she was signed by Pharrell Williams, and as some may recall, was opening for Ariana Grande on tour when one of their shows was bombed in a terrorist attack back in 2017 (you can hear the two together on the track “Esta Noche”).
But while things were already popping for Bia before 2020 arrived; over the past few weeks she has landed her biggest smash hit yet in the Rihanna-approved “Best on Earth” with New Jersey hair rapper Russ. An outstanding club track with light horns and tight rhymes, it also comes with a video that could pass for PornHub content, if you’re into that sort of thing. Most importantly, Bia absolutely crushes multiple verses, truly giving the track its gravitas. As one commenter on YouTube put it, “This sounds like Bia’s song with Russ on it.” You’re damn right it does.