Based: Ghana

Ria Boss is a Ghanaian-Burkinabe singer songwriter.

Born Maria Emmanuelle Grace Bossman-Damiba in London, Ria Boss sprouted her wings through childhood in Ghana, found flight at the age of 18 in New York City, found healing in Los Angeles, and has firmly planted her feet back in her hometown of Accra.

The soulful Accra-based musician is midway through an impressive endeavor to release an EP every week for several months, a project called #THANKGODFORRIA. She’s also just become the face of Osei-Duro’s expansion into XL sizes

What do you do? How did you get started? 

I am a singer-songwriter and now an aspiring producer if I do say so myself (lol). I’ve always found solace in melody, felt most at ease in song.

My mom will remark that when I learned how to sing “twinkle twinkle little star” I became like a broken record. I was in piano lessons very early on from about 9 or 10 years old, and at a classical level.

My piano teacher at the time also had a small choir made up of all her students so I would sing in it from time to time. But it bears mentioning that I didn’t become more professional, more serious, later on in life. Truth is I was terribly shy at one point of singing in front of people by myself.

I tell this story a lot but my mother one cloudy day as we were driving down the Tema motorway told me I had a “true voice” after she listened to me sing “Tomorrow” from Annie (the movie). It was then that I started to pay more attention to my voice, mimic singers I enjoyed till I was doing riffs on my own, but I was still quite shy.

It wasn’t until I was living in Harlem, NY, years later, and after being in talent shows and singing competitions (in high school) in between, that I took the leap of faith and took a chance on being a singer, a real performing, original music making, musician.