Red Light Management

Adia Victoria Wants to Make the Blues Dangerous Again

February 27, 2019

aAdia Victoria, a 32-year-old songwriter who grew up in rural South Carolina and is based in Nashville, likes to call herself a “modern blues woman.” In her music, the blues is a baseline and a frame of mind, not a genre boundary; it pushes her to take risks.

“I want to make the blues dangerous again,” she said in an interview a few days ago, sharing the back seat of a car-service van crawling through rush-hour traffic to visit Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, where she lived in the early 2000s. Over a black outfit she wore a sleek, vivid red overcoat, a $5 find at Goodwill.

“The blues isn’t just a sound,” she said. “I think that’s something that white people have really gone and goofed on, thinking that they’ve pegged down the blues and they can package it. When you do that, then some wily black woman is going to come and subvert you every single time, and here I am. The blues needs to move.”