LA-based multimedia artist BOSCO is no stranger to games—including video games. Growing up in Savannah, Georgia, her mother bought her a vintage SEGA console; she also began frequenting arcades, where she fell in love with the cult-favorite fighting game Mortal Kombat. Now, the singer born Brittany Bosco—who originally majored in fashion design at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), then left her senior year to go cut her teeth in Atlanta's DIY music scene—has penned a track based on the game (premiering below).
"I was really in love with the [game's] graphics," the 28-year-old told Noisey over the phone. "So I wanted to write a song that was based off doing a fight—almost like a check-mate thing. I see you, you see me, I know the players, I know how to play this game." Wryly, she adds: "Just because it's a male game doesn't mean I'm not privy to the cheat-codes, too."
In reality, BOSCO's cousins tipped her off to the game's cheat codes a few years after she started playing. But for the artist, the concept has a double meaning: of learning the shorthand for playing the game of life—and relationships—faster, smarter, and by her own rules. "Guys always think that it's their way or the highway," she says, "Or that you aren't smart enough to figure things out yourself. But nothing is more precious than a woman's intuition."
Over a slinky baseline that could hold its own in any Bond flick, she sings with a sugar-sweetness reminiscent of The Internet's frontwoman, Syd: "I know your kind, miles away / Slide to you, Mortal Kombat / Play nice, tip-toe, tread light." She then finishes with her own special brand of K.O.-punch, "It's goin' down, rock-a-baby."
Sweetness is hardly BOSCO's only form of delivery. On her latest release, the mini-album, b. (out since late summer on Fool's Gold), the eight tracks are a veritable combustion of genres and textures. The thumping "Adrenaline" recalls 90s grunge ("I never left the 90s!" the singer says); The sleek "Castles," which features Atlanta duo St. Beauty, channels TLC. Back further, her 2016 Girls In The Yard mixtape, with Atlanta DJ and producer Speakerfoxxx, is a playful, trap-infused trio of songs with gritty vocals akin to M.I.A.
For BOSCO, her continued willingness to experiment with her sound is largely due to her ever-improving relationship with herself: "I've been consciously making strides into self-care and self-love," she says, "And writing affirmations around my room: You're beautiful, you can do anything if you put your mind to it—writing down my goals, and seeing the things [written] that I want to become or that I want to get better [at]." She continues: "I honestly feel like it's more of a sense of myself, it's also like growing with myself and trusting my journey and trusting my struggle and trusting that I'm just wired a little bit differently. Just accepting that I'm a weird kid, you know what I'm saying? I feel like a lot of people, or artists, they haven't really accepted that, 'All right, this is me, sorry if I don't fit in, sorry if I'm left-of-center.' But I feel like once we tap into that magic, that's what distinguishes us from anybody else."
Listen to "Mortal Kombat," the latest installment of the Adult Swim Singles series, below. b. is out now on Fool's Gold Records.