Adia Victoria has always known the value of the written word.
Born in South Carolina and raised by Seventh Day Adventists, the singer consumed books of all variety from a young age.
But then, she's always been a voracious pursuer of new ideas. Now based in Nashville, the singer's inquisitive debut album 'Beyond The Bloodhounds' matches stark Southern gothic to spare folk, country, and blues themes.
Out now, it's a rich introductory document from a singer who's only going to grow in confidence.
Fresh from her debut London show, Adia Victoria agreed to show Clash the contents of her bookshelf.
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What is your favourite book, and why?
Wise Blood by Flannery O Connor. It allowed me the opportunity to challenge my faith through the character of Hazel Motes. I related to him because his renunciation of Christianity was totally taboo to the people in his town as it was mine.
What draws you to certain books?
I like to start with an author and then research the time period they were writing in. Usually I find the first author due to their subject content. If I like the book I will research the author's contemporaries and read them too.
Do your literary influences have a direct impact on your songwriting?
I have found that I do my best writing after reading. Perhaps it has something to do with process the rhythm of the prose that sparks my imagination and gets me into writing mode. All my books are filled with highlighted and underlined passages of phrased that have blown my mind and stirred me into writing. I love the process.
What was the first book you remember reading as a child?
The Black Sheep nursery rhyme.
Did you make good use of your library card as a child?
I had a grandmother who would take my sister and I to the library once a month. At first we could only rent out books with her card, but when she noticed the speed at which I was powering through books, and the effect that being surrounded by books had on me, she let me get my own.
Have you ever started a book that you simply could not finish?
Yes. The Puttermesser Papers by Cynthia Ozirk. I adored the story, and found the protagonist, Ruth Puttermesser, endearing in her bookishness and stunted social life. Near the end of the book, she has reached old age and meets such a violent, sudden and ghastly death that I felt traumatized. I returned it to the library in quite the huff.
Do you read book reviews?
Would you ever re-read the same book?
Yes. I've read Beloved by Toni Morrison three times now.
Do you read just one book at a time, or more than one?
At any one time I am reading a book of literary theory, a book of poetry and a work of fiction. I just rotate based on my mood.
Is there an author or poet who you’d love to collaborate with?
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'Beyond The Bloodhounds' is out now.