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Say Hello To SLUG, A Minority-Driven Creative Agency For The Nickelodeon Generation

Indie R&B artist BOSCO is branching out from music and into the agency space to give minority creatives a platform.

Ask BOSCO how she’s created a career for herself and you can’t help thinking of her as a millennial MacGyver.

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After studying fashion design at Savannah College of Art and Design, BOSCO, née Brittany Bosco, left her senior year and moved to Atlanta to focus on developing herself as a musical artist. The good news: she found a burgeoning community of creatives like herself who were out to prove that the Atlanta music scene was more than trap and hip-hop. The frustrating news: because that community was so small, executing ideas and getting music, art, or otherwise out to a wider audience became a DIY scenario of connecting dots that were wider apart than they would’ve been in, say, New York City or Los Angeles. Despite it all, BOSCO managed to make enough noise with her distinctive brand of avant-garde R&B to get a deal with Brooklyn-based indie label Fool’s Gold, releasing her first proper EP BOY in 2015 and the well-received mixtape Girls In The Yard last year, collabing with Atlanta native Speakerfoxxx. It would seem like the ideal time to capitalize on the momentum of her music career, but BOSCO is shifting that scrappy DIY energy toward something new: her own creative agency, SLUG.

BOSCO[Photo: Chris Honolulu]

“It’s youthful. It’s fresh. It’s vibrant. It’s colorful. It’s playful. It’s in-your-face,” basically, as BOSCO goes on to explain, it’s the adult version of Nickelodeon.

“We don’t have to grow up. We have to mature but you still want to have a sense of youth. To me, SLUG is like a mature Nickelodeon–there’s a huge void for that,” she says. “That’s where I’m focusing the energy on, innocence and youth.”

SLUG officially launched this month with a trim team across Atlanta (BOSCO, founder; Chibu Okere, art director), New York City (Kylah Benes-Trapp, creative director) and Los Angeles (Elyn Kazarian, lead designer), but the team has been breaking themselves in with a host of projects including doing the casting and creative direction for a Snap Spectacle event, creating the lookbook for hat company Pretty Major, and shooting and illustrating a campaign for the skincare brand Feel.

“I would say that having a music career definitely taught me what to do and what not to do with my creative agency,” BOSCO says. “For instance, not putting out content before it has a home. You spend all this time recording the song and then you just put it out with no game plan. Who is my audience? Who does this relate to? It’s knowing how to sell your idea. That’s half of the whole game: what can I bring to the table? How can I sell this idea to you? And I’ve learned that from my music.”

BOSCO is tailoring lessons learned the hard way to SLUG, conventional resources be damned.

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“You can get anything you want out of this world, you just have to know how to ask for it,” she says. “I can bring something to the table that they never thought about and vice-versa. My tactic is to bring about that sense of dialogue, whether it’s visual design, whether it’s branding, whether it’s music.”

BOSCO envisions SLUG eventually transforming into a publication, in a way becoming that voice for undiscovered creatives that she never had while cutting her teeth in Atlanta. How she intends to do all of this relies heavily on the team she’s assembled to carry out her vision of SLUG–a team she has intentionally made as minority-driven as possible.

“I’m open to all ethnicities but I’m really focusing on minorities because if you think about it, we don’t really have that platform,” BOSCO says. “These kids have a story. That’s the vibe of SLUG that we’re getting: This is my story and this is the work I’m contributing to this vision. That means a lot to me as an African-American female, giving them a place to put their work and that it can be on-level with The FADER or Complex. That’s what I want to show my culture–we don’t have to dumb down or sell ourselves short because we’re good enough to be neck-and-neck with these people.”

Which brings us to why BOSCO chose “SLUG” as the name for her agency.

“Atlanta has a slower pace but it always ends up on top,” she says. “How [Donald Glover] went all the way to the Golden Globes and said this award is dedicated to Atlanta–this award is dedicated to Migos. SLUG is a pace and it’s still on the forefront of culture, music, art, and design.”

BOSCO is tapping the breaks on her music career to make SLUG her 9-to-5 job. Although the former is admittedly her passion–she actually as an EP coming out later this year–building out an agency will eventually give her work a place to live in addition to being a platform to bolster the work of creatives like herself. BOSCO is positioning SLUG as something bigger than the sum of its parts, paving a new path that she hopes will empower DIY communities.

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“You really have to create a space in the industry for yourself,” BOSCO says. “I don’t have to be under anybody’s umbrella and I’m just trying to show other kids that you can do this. You’ve just got to work smart and don’t make the same mistakes I made. That’s my duty to my team. That’s my duty to Atlanta. That’s my duty to my family to show them there’s an alternative path. You don’t have to conform if you don’t want to.”

About the author

KC covers entertainment and pop culture for Fast Company. Previously, KC was part of the Emmy Award-winning team at "Good Morning America" where he was the social media producer.

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