One of the bright new gems in the Def Jam crown, Saint Bodhi shined bright on her new EP, ‘Antisocial,’ and she explains how the project allowed her to ‘expand’ and have fun with her sound.
From the first second of Antisocial, when that deep groovy bassline kicks in, it’s clear that there’s something special about Saint Bodhi. The project sees Bodhi continue her ascent to the top of the hip-hop world with an EP overflowing with charisma and creativity. Antisocial continues the introduction she made on her debut album, last year’s Mad World, which arrived via Def Jam – but Antisocial also allows her to showcase all her facets. There’s the literal “don’t f-ck with me” attitude on the title track, the emotional honesty behind moments of petty larceny in the R&B-inspired “Hurt Like Me,” the temptation-laced lyrics in “Heaven Is Real,” and the sex-fueled jams of “Sneaky Link” and “Get Like This.”
“Those songs were extremely fun to write,” Saint Bodhi tells HollywoodLife about those two tracks. “It was fun exploring that side of my personality. I always make very serious records, so it was refreshing to expand and be confident about. it.” During the chat, Saint Bodhi shared when she knew that her new EP was going to be called Antisocial; why, as someone open about her own anxiety struggles, why mental health is being taken seriously following Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka’s public battles; and if she’d rather see another Def Jam fighting game.
HollywoodLife: Antisocial kicks off with the title track. It sets the mood for the EP – with its production, honest and captivating lyrics, and ‘give no f-cks’ attitude. Did you always know that you wanted this song to start/be the title of your EP?
Saint Bodhi: No, I didn’t always know “Antisocial” was going to be the title track. I actually was a couple of songs in the ep before I discovered the song “Antisocial.” Neffu and I instantly discovered that it was the right track to title the album after I recorded the hook.
Antisocial arrives when there’s an increased talk about the importance of mental health, specifically in response to Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka prioritizing their mental well-being. As someone who uses your anxiety and experience in creating – and after a year of the pandemic – why do you think mental health is having a moment?
I believe there are increased talks about mental health right now because of the recent pandemic we’ve all been challenged with. We all had to stay home alone, face our demons and really learn about ourselves. I feel like it sucked to be isolated, but it helped people really understand themselves and the importance of their mental health.
Were songs like “Get Like This” and “Sneaky Link” fun to write and record? [Like, there are great lines on this piece — “shit’s so good / I forgot all the names of my exes” – and it reminded me of all the pearl-clutching/handwringing over “WAP,” and how many didn’t see those songs like that and “Get Like This” are just so damn fun.]
Yea, those songs were extremely fun to write. It was fun exploring that side of my personality. I always make very serious records, so it was refreshing to expand and be confident about it.
Speaking of fun, the video for “Hurt Like Me” seemed like it was a blast to shoot. Was that the visual you had in mind for the track?
Yes. Alex Bitten and I merged minds and had so much fun with the creative concept for “Hurt Like Me “ everything aligned perfectly.
How did you develop your cadence and style? Like, did you go through different styles before finding the one that shines on Antisocial?
I listen to lots of jazz and have a Jamaican background. I feel like the way I deliver my music comes from my musical taste. It came pretty naturally with Neffu when creating Antisocial.
Def Jam is a brand with some history behind it (not too many record labels have video games, for instance.) How did it feel to sign with Def Jam? And how do you see your music in helping contribute to Def Jam’s ongoing legacy?
It felt amazing signing to Def Jam. It’s a legendary label, and I was honored to be a part. I feel like I bring something unique and different to Def Jam. We work well together, and I’m excited to see how else we will develop as partners.
Would you want to see a new Def Jam game a la Fight For New York, or would you want to change it up? Have an RPG with hip-hop artists?
I would totally love to see an RPG, as I’m a big RPG player.
Antisocial is out now.