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adonis bosso talks fatherhood with slick woods


Just last week, model Slick Woods slayed the Savage x Fenty runway while in labor with her son (she revealed would be named “Saphir”) before being rushed to the hospital. No word yet has been posted on the delivery, but it’s safe to say she’s a boss who brings new meaning to the concept of a “working mother”. But Rihanna’s muse isn’t the only one contributing to this blessed genetic pool. Woods partner and the father of her child is fellow model 27-year-old Adonis Bosso. Shortly before the family’s new addition was on the way, Bosso sat down with PAPER magazine and shared his own experiences with modeling and what he’s looking forward to (as well as what he fears) about impending fatherhood.

Bosso is the son of parents who originally immigrated from Cote d’Ivoire. He’s the oldest of five and grew up watching over his younger siblings in his parents’ home daycare center in Montreal, Canada where the family settled when coming to America. Before modeling, Bosso was on track to study special care counseling, a choice inspired by his younger brother who has autism. Bosso says being the oldest helped him mature quickly:

“I grew up in a really big family, I’m the oldest of five kids.”

“One of my brothers has autism. Growing up with a sibling who is autistic made me mature faster. It already takes a village to raise a child, but families with autistic children need additional support. I saw that my parents really needed the help and it eventually pushed me to go study special care counseling.”

Still the idea of fatherhood is surreal to him, but Bosso is sure that he and his partner are going to be great parents despite their busy schedules and living on separate coasts (Bosso is based on the West Coast, while Woods works a majority of her time on the East Coast). He describes the moment he found out he was going to be a father sharing that although the pregnancy was unplanned, he was thrilled:

“I felt like everything happens for a reason. Even though it’s not something we planned it was the most amazing news I’ve ever gotten. I’ll always remember when I found out. I was in the middle of the street with my guitar, I was actually headed to my guitar class. When she told me I just couldn’t contain myself.”

“I basically stopped the rest of my day and went to see her, and then we went to see her parents and tell them.”

He adds that he’s had plenty of preparation from being the oldest and working in childcare and is no stranger to diapers and sleep schedules:

“I grew up working in my family’s home daycare, and being the oldest, I changed diapers, ran after toddlers, put babies down for naps, all of that. Also, being the oldest of five was preparation in itself. I’ve always felt like I was a really caring and nurturing person so finding out I was going to be a dad was just, like, a gift… that’s the best word I can think of.”

When it comes to balancing their busy careers, Bosso says their son will be the top priority so everything else will have to work around his needs:

“I trust that we will always put him as a priority, no matter what happens with music or modeling or anything else. I live in LA and she lives in New York so I’m obviously going to be spending a lot more time in New York, especially when he’s still a newborn. At the end of the day, nobody wants to miss anything with their first child — I want to be there for his first words, his first steps, all of that.”

“If we got married and divorced or if we’re together or not, our son will be the priority for both of us. I want my son to spend as much time with his mom as possible and I know she wants him to spend as much time as possible with me. When two people have a common intention — and that’s making sure our child knows he’s loved — that’s really all that matters.”

Bosso has been modeling since he was 17 and hailed by his 100K Instagram followers as “Septum papi”. He dropped his first single, “Jungle” last year and told ELLE that his music is inspired by the influences of the different cultures he encountered in his upbringing:

“My music is a part of me, it’s a part of all the things I have inherited until now. All the songs from the motherland that I’ve grown up with. All the R&B and Soul I was introduced to in Canada. It’s a mix of the Indie and Alternative songs that I have discovered around the world. My music is like my diary.”

When it comes to fatherhood, Bosso says he hopes he can teach his son to be fearless, especially in a country where black men specifically have so much to fear:

“I want him to realize that in life there’s always going to be someone you think is smarter or stronger or better looking, but you can’t let your fear of not being good enough stop you. I want him to know there is only one him, and that’s why he’s unique.”

“When I came to America it was almost a culture shock because there was such a distinct separation between how different races interacted with each other. I had heard about police brutality and school shootings that happened in America, but coming from where I grew up, I hadn’t seen issues like that on such a large scale before. I know I’m raising an American child. I know that he’s going to be born here, and that his mother is American. I think I just have to let him know that even if he does grow up a bit more privileged, as long as he is in this country he cannot be oblivious to the reality that he is a black man.”

Bosso also shares that his son will never have to question where he comes from, a concept which continues to be such a struggle for many African-Americans who question their ancestral roots repeatedly:

“I also want to make sure he’s proud of his African heritage. I grew up not knowing how cool being African was because it wasn’t appreciated around the world. There was always a certain stigma around being African when I was a kid, so I want my son to know that the African continent is a rich place, no matter what people say. I think with social media and so many artists and designers becoming popular here it will be easy for him to see examples. Oh, and he will definitely learn French because it’s my first language!”



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