Becoming the power source of Flint with The 810 Flow

FLINT, Michigan -- To be the power source of Flint’s global music scene, coined the Flindustry, takes dedication and grit. Together, best friends Boss Lady Reesé Nicole—a mother, music manager, and marketing assistant—and Tay Boogie—writer, entrepreneur, and music artist—are two Flintstones on a mission to revolutionize how the world views Flint music through their business, The 810 Flow. With a focus to provide the most up-to-date coverage on new releases, artist spotlights, interviews, and behind-the-scenes footage, The 810 Flow is poised to be one of the city’s biggest lifelines.

As partners and host of Flint’s newest series of concerts called the Concrete Jungle, The 810 Flow continues its expansive push of visibility for local Flint artists and brings awareness to the issues they face. But being the power source means dealing with a fair share of criticism, pushback, and disrespect. Unfortunately, the music industry at large isn’t always a safe space for African American women to speak up and speak out. But that hasn’t stopped Reesé and Tay from living their dreams and giving back to the community.

But on a busy evening inside downtown Flint’s Soggy Bottom Bar, Flintside caught up with the duo to talk business, industry antics, and plans for the future. 

Flintside: The 810 Flow is relatively new to Flint and yet has amassed a large following. It reminds me of the famous radio stations we see in New York and L.A. What’s the journey been like for you thus far?

Tay: “It’s a lot, especially with this being our first year diving in. I think the pace picked up faster than we expected. I didn’t expect to be dealing with so many artists so soon so closely. We’re not only at the house listening to you. We see how you operate, and we’re trying to help you network. We see who’s not willing to work with who and bridge the gap.”
"I want them to know that The 810 Flow is the power source of Flint. We are here to bridge the gap between the stigma. We are here to support artists."
Reesé: Being women, they try to water us down. We have a lot of men trying to tell us what to do and how to do it. They always tell Tay with her lyrics and how she raps that it’s not girly or no man wants to work with somebody like that. They want to come to us and tell us all these ideas they have and redirect us. With me being Boss Lady Reese, I’ve had people say no man is going to want to call you [that] or feel like you’re superior to them.”

Flintside: To want to be the power source of Flint means embedding yourselves into the culture. Was this something you both knew you wanted to do? 

Reesé: I used to be addicted to 106 & Park, and I knew I wanted to do something in music. I wanted to be a radio personality. I did 94.3 at Kettering for a few months. But when me and Tay sat down, all of our fears were the same. We knew we wanted to help the city with music. We didn’t know how and overnight, we sat there, and then the next night, we said, “we about to do this.” [The 810 Flow] has been a passion, and to be doing this, I’m happy.”

Tay: It was destined. We had every reason not to do this but I believe what we are doing was destined. My family was worried. I didn’t know what I was going to do in the industry because I’m heavily introverted. [Reesé and I] didn’t meet in childhood. We met on social media and said we were gonna link for five years. I’m grateful we came together because this industry is brutal.”

Flintside: Within the year, The 810 Flow’s Instagram page has reached over a thousand followers, and every week there’s something new posted. So how did y’all become that connected in the community that quickly?

Reesé: “Me and Tay are in the studio with these guys. We pull up to video shoots, and they’re granny birthday parties. We really associate ourselves. It’s personal now. We try to hit every group. I feel we know what the city needs when it comes to music and how to promote it.”
“On the hard days, I don’t have to do it by myself. I can vent to Tay. I don’t have to go on the internet every day. Everything we deal with it’s back to back. Put us together, and nobody can stop us."
Tay: “We was like, let’s do it. We get behind-the-scenes videos and get features done. When we designed the flyer for 810 Day, that gave the artist encouragement. We want to make a network where artists can learn. Where it’s not crazy to learn the business side and educate the artists.”

Flintside: Knowing that the industry is brutal, the two of you continued down this path. Having interviewed other artists—particularly African American women—the struggle to be heard, seen, and be taken seriously is immense. What keeps y’all going?

Tay: I feel like it’s a struggle that’s worth it. Music is healing for the soul. It’s worth it to fight tooth and nail, to get turned down, stay up late nights, and be irritated early mornings. I got a story to tell, and I feel Flint has a story to tell. With The 810 Flow, we are starting to see we add value. We’re an asset to anything. The things that we do, we do pull our weight. We put in the work that we’re accountable for.”

Reesé: And on the hard days, I don’t have to do it by myself. I can vent to Tay. Everything we deal with it’s back to back. Put us together, and nobody can stop us. We’re not going to take some stuff because of money, who you are, or anything like that. How we feel about ourselves comes before all of that. We’re learning and navigating through what’s too much and what’s not enough as far as self-worth.”
Flintside: With this being y’all first year and the crazy amount of success that has happened, where do y’all plan on taking The 810 Flow? What’s in the pipeline for the future?

Reesé: “We want The 810 Flow always to be a Flint thing. We are in the works of getting a Flindustry podcast soon. We want to spend this year creating a platform. We want to do an 810 tour, take artists and go to other cities. We are passionate about what we do. We are really in this because this is where we want to be. Even if we weren’t doing this, we would be doing something with music. We’re bad at doing anything else.”

Tay: “We want to have an 810 studio and record label at some point. When we go to other states, we wanna make sure we book a studio under The 810 Flow and get features with other artists. I want them to know that The 810 Flow is the power source of Flint. We are here to bridge the gap between the stigma. We are here to support artists. I want people to know that it’s genuine and from the heart. It’s just Reesé and me.”

You can follow Boss Lady Reesé and Tay Boogie via their respective Facebooks (1), (2), and Instagram (1), (2) accounts. You can tap into The 810 Flow and check out new Flint artists across their Facebook and Instagram.

Read more articles by Xzavier Simon.