Eight years ago we were officially introduced to a 12-year-old “Miss Beauty” as one of the members in the popular ATL-bred girl group OMG Girlz, but for the last three years she has been riding solo reintroducing herself as a woman named Bahja Rodriguez.
Standing pretty at 20-years-old, Bahja (pronounced bae-juh) is taking control of her music career most recently releasing her 5-track EP LUV An Informal Atmosphere and shedding the idea of who people knew her as before. This go around it’s important to her that her current and future fans understand that she’s serious about what she’s doing.
“I really make this music for real and it’s not bubblegum kiddie music. It’s real-deal music with real-deal content that everybody can relate to. I want people to feel like I’m their friend. I know what they’re going through in life and I make songs to talk about what they’re going through in their life.”
And she knows what she’s talking about. During her first successful flight solo, she debut her EP It Gets Better in November of 2015, which peaked at #6 on the iTunes R&B/Soul chart and debuted at #10 on Billboard’s Heatseekers Albums chart. It was a debut that explored the experiences of young love, but a year later Bahja’s next project was more direct and the love she’s experienced more defined through it.
“On the first project I think I just wanted to put out really solid songs that I sounded good on. I feel like with the first project that was me figuring out just who I was and what I liked and what I didn’t like as my own artist. But with my new project I just put out, with LUV, it was more so like, ‘Okay, I kind of know who I am. I know what I want to talk about and I just felt like it needed to come out strictly for my artistry.’ I felt like I just needed to put it out and share it with the world.”
LUV An Informal Atmosphere is a short, but very sweet realm of emotion written by her hand. On the EP’s third song “More,” Bahja has reached the point where love isn’t something to play with, but something to build with. The EP also features the familiar voice of her close friend and former group mate, Zonnique, on “Another Luv Song” as the singers yearn for the ones they’re infatuated with.
While working on this project, which was done a week before it was released, it didn’t take much to share what was on her heart and make concrete and plain good music out of it.
“For me, it’s not like rocket science. I just get in there and I hear a beat and if I’m just vibing with the beat, then I’ll just go head and start writing to it.”
The impressive writing on LUV, is a craft that was self-taught for Bahja, “When I was in the group, we would come to the studio and the songs were already done and all we had to do was cut them. But then when I wasn’t in the group no more I didn’t have access to songwriters and all that stuff. So, I had to go in and figure out what I wanted to say and how I wanted to say it. And I’m glad that I was able to get that experience because now with my creative process I’m so involved with it.” She wouldn’t have it any other way and once you hear the EP you’ll see it’s for good reason.
Bahja Rodriguez is coming into her own as an artist and songwriter very securely. LUV An Informal Atmosphere, which also features ATL rapper Kodie Shane, is a body of work that she wants to showcase her in a light that she hasn’t been seen in before.
To me it seems like she’ll be shining in the just right light.