Viviane Bossina, a Congolese lady based in Finland, is an up-and-coming R&B singer ready to take her music career to the world. In a recent interview she spoke about her upcoming EP and her career.
Can you introduce yourself to our readers?
My name is Viviane Bossina. I am a 22-year old musician currently living and studying in Finland. I was born in the Congo and raised around the world.
What inspired you to go into music?
Viviane: The realization that I only have one life to live and that I deserve and owe it to myself to live a life that I love and to do the things that bring me great joy. And music definitely brings me great joy.
Who is your role model in music?
Viviane: I don't really have a musical role model per say but there are a lot of people whose career I admire. I love Jill Scott and her music and the fact that she was able to venture into acting, which is something I'm pursuing as well. Of course Beyoncé's live performances are definitely inspiring and thrilling to watch. That's definitely something I want to do for my audiences. Lisa Fischer is definitely a talent out of this world. I mean there are too many great artists that inspire and motivate me to name one single role model.
What genre of music do you play?
Viviane: A bit of R&B, soul and jazz. I'm very much into experimenting so I won't limit myself to those genres alone. Although it is necessary to have a core genre for a lack of a better term, I definitely want to branch out and truly mix it up. I mean due to my upbringing I feel a part of many different cultures and I want that to be reflected in my music as well.
What are some of the messages in your music?
Viviane: I write my own songs and the songs I've written up to date all center around the themes of love, and looking for love and patiently waiting for love (laughs) and imagining all that would feel and do once I do find my love.
But I've also written about self empowerment, self love and the necessary journey to get to the point where you love and accept yourself as you are. The journey of life, or rather the way I see life based on my journey so far. I've also written about doubt and fear, although in my life I try not to give those emotions too much weight.
Is your music making waves in Finland and Congo?
Viviane: It isn't yet, as I haven't released my EP, which I’d like to have a minimum of 5 songs.
After the release of the EP what is next?
Viviane: After the release of my EP, I will set about doing as many live performances as possible in order to share my music with the world. And will then start the process of looking for a suitable record label.
What are some of your challenges in your music career?
Viviane: So far the biggest challenge I've had to overcome was to truly believe in the possibility of my dream, you know? Taking that first step was definitely challenging. But I have and I am beyond glad I have. As long as I believe in myself and in the beauty and the possibilities of my dreams the remaining challenges suddenly shrink in size.
How do you see your music career in the next five years?
Viviane: I see myself on the world stage, performing globally and having had a very successful album. I see myself headlining a world tour. I also believe in the principle of diversification, so I plan on finding new ways to express my creativity.
What is your opinion of African music?
Viviane: I love it!
Do you have any plan to tour or promote your music in African countries or collaborate with African artists?
Viviane: I would love to collaborate with African artists. Who? Anselmo Ralph from Angola or Sara Tavares a Portuguese of Cape Verdean descent or Sauti Sol from Kenya or Mafikizolo from South Africa. But my dream African collaboration would have to be with the beautifully talented Lira from South Africa!
I was recently filled with joy when I found that Stromae would be doing an African tour and I would absolutely love to do something like that. Africa is truly my heart and touring it while sharing my music would be a privilege for me.
Words for upcoming African artists, especially women?
Viviane: For anybody I would say that the gifts and the dreams given to you were given to foe a purpose and that it is your responsibility to make them a reality. So go for it, whatever is, go for it. As long as it's legal and safe that is and for my women out there. I would just add to not let what society thinks of our sex limit you in any way whatsoever. You are powerful and strong beyond measure. Don't be afraid to shine my queens!
First published in The Voice Vibes on 27 November