Flyana Boss
Who’s Watering The
Industry Plant?

Hello Christ? We’re ’bout to sin again.

 

One of the most viral music successes of 2023 seeks to take it up a notch in 2024. From taking over social media feeds to brand deals to touring with Janelle Monáe, if 2023 was just the beginning for Flyana Boss, 2024 is when things will kick into high gear.

 

For Blavity’s first cover story of the year, we sat with the duo to reflect on their journey so far, how they got here and where they plan to go.

 

The hip-hop duo, consisting of Bobbi LaNea and Folayan, has been all over your timelines due to their trademark running videos with their smash hit “You Wish.” Hailing from Detroit and Dallas, the two met in Los Angeles while in school. They had various jobs while getting started in the industry, including working at a dispensary.

 

“Those jobs helped us because they pushed us to know that we are not meant to do that,” Folayan said. “We don’t have rich fathers…or grandfathers…or great-grandfathers. We’re going to have to do it. We didn’t have a choice.”

 

“It inspired us to keep doing our music,” Bobbi added. “We were like, we can’t keep working at a dispensary forever. It was draining.”

 

When creators go viral, many people think there has to be a hitch. People pose questions like, “They just came out of nowhere? Who is behind this?” It is a notion that Bobbi and Folayan have pushed back on. For example, the running trend for “You Wish” was an idea they had that caught on.

 

“With all the other viral trends that were going on, we tried to hop on that bandwagon. It didn’t really work,” Bobbi said. “We knew the song was good. And our videographer, Evan [Blum], the quality of his content was really good. But we didn’t think running was the genius idea or anything.”

 

“Running was so random, so I don’t even know why it went viral,” Folayan added. “We just knew we had to keep going. We did not plot it out at all. We knew ‘You Wish’ was a good song. We were like, ‘We really want this song to succeed.’ But we were just trying random stuff that day.”

 

As for their true feelings about the industry plant label?

 

“I think at first the industry plant [idea] kind of rubbed me the wrong way,” Bobbi said. “We were like, ‘What? We worked hard; we earned it.’ But now it’s just so funny to me. It’s hilarious. We know what it took for us to get here.”

 

With the rise of TikTok and social media, many may think there may be a formula for success. But as Flyana Boss will tell you, success is more than instantaneous, and many misconceptions about going viral exist.

 

Folayan said that one of the biggest misconceptions is that the viral moment will happen.

 

“I think consistency is a really important part of it,” she added. “Also, changing with the season. So staying consistent and posting, but also shifting what you’re doing little by little by little. Because you can’t just do the same thing over and over and over. You have to see how you can improve on it. People just think that you post once, and then a magic TikTok fairy comes in and makes you viral. But you got to work at it.”

I think at first the industry plant [idea] kind of rubbed me the wrong way…but now it’s just so funny to me. It’s hilarious. We know what it took for us to get here.

The duo also nabbed two major co-signs from some of the most prolific Black women in music — Missy Elliott and Janelle Monáe.

 

After defending them on Twitter, Elliott shocked the ladies and appeared on the “You Wish” remix.

 

“We actually don’t know how that happened,” Bobbi said when asked how their rapport with the hip-hop legend began. But soon, they found themselves messaging with Elliott.

 

Folayan added, “First she said, ‘Fun,’ on one of the running videos. She just tweeted it. We were screaming, and then someone was like, ‘Why do they keep running?’ And then she broke it down to them very beautifully. And then we were like, ‘OK, we need to message her.’ So we DM’d her on Twitter, asked her if she would be down to be a part of the remix to the song. And she said, ‘Yeah, have your people call my people.’ And then it worked out. It’s a dream come true, but I’m still flabbergasted. How did that happen? Missy Elliott? What!?”

 

Describing how they found out they would tour with the “Lipstick Lover” songstress, Bobbi explained, “We were in the car with one of our managers, and somebody called him and he was like, “Don’t say anything… don’t say you’re in the car.” And then we just heard, yeah, we want Flyana Boss to open for Janelle Monáe. And then they were like, ‘Yeah, Janelle requested you.’ And we were like, ‘Be serious. Come on.'”

 

“As soon as we saw her opening night of the tour, she just looked us in the eye and told us how proud she was of us, and how she wanted us on her tour,” she continued. “And wow, what a blessing.”

 

The duo noted they didn’t overlook this success, which came together amid the 50th anniversary of hip-hop.

 

“Serendipitous? Is that the word? [laughs] It all came together. We didn’t plan any of it,” Folayan said.

 

Bobbi added, “We’ve been doing this Flyana Boss for a few years now, but it just so happens that the 50th anniversary of hip-hop was our big breakout year. But I do think we represent the core of what hip-hop culture means, which is having fun with your friends, and being creative and expressing yourself.”

 

Speaking of expressing yourself, the two also think they both inherently and actively push back on the expectations of what people, many times unfairly, put upon Black women in music.

 

“We both felt pressures growing up of what a Black girl should be, or how we should dress or what we should like,” Bobbi said.

 

“But we are actively trying to push back against stereotypes as well. But we are just naturally ourselves.”

 

The group’s dominance shows no signs of slowing down. To cap off January, they dropped their latest single, “Candyman.” The Marky Style-produced track has all the makings of their next bonafide viral hit.

We both felt pressures growing up of what a Black girl should be…but we are actively trying to push back against stereotypes as well. We are just naturally ourselves.

After opening for Monáe and Kesha, they will kick off their headlining tour in Chicago beginning Feb. 18 at Schubas Tavern.

 

“This is our first one and we just started the planning,” Bobbi shared. “So we don’t fully know everything that goes into it yet, but we’re learning as we go. But it’s going to be a great show. We’re great performers. We perform under such low expectations. So now we’re here to be on our own headlining tour. And we’re going to really do it big.”

 

And for those who doubt them and say they’ll only have one viral hit?

 

“I would say we have nothing to prove to them,” Bobbi proclaimed. “They need to worry about themselves, and we gonna worry about us.”

 

For them, the future looks bright.

 

“We definitely want to explore all types of everything when it comes to sound,” Folayan noted. “We like to compare ourselves to an OutKast kind of thing. You might catch us doing a little jazz song one day, or a funk song, or bebop. Who knows? We have big dreams, big goals. We eventually want our own TV show that’s kind of based around our friendship, with a little bit of Afro-surrealism in there. We want to be on the radio; we want to play Madison Square Garden.”

 

“We want to be on lunchboxes, Bobbi said. “We want to be the biggest duo in the world, but we also want to buy farms and raise a family…so we’re going to go viral again. We’re going to be in our artistic bag. And we’re going to dominate the world.”

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