Persian queer pop artist Gia Woods wants people to know that it’s OK to be themselves. With hopes of making music that connects with people and make their days better knowing that there’s someone out there who can relate to their experiences, Gia’s music is personable, vulnerable and reminds everyone they are never alone.
Revolving around the human craving for companionship, Gia makes a strong statement about the hard phases in such relationships with latest single “Ego” taken from forthcoming Cut Season.
“When I wrote this track, I was going through so many transitional phases in my life,” she tells tmrw about the inspiration behind the song. “I was coming out of a long, toxic relationship and starting to see the patterns in hindsight. There were power struggles and lots of pettiness.
“Neither of us were willing to meet each other eye to eye and one of the things I realized was a lot of it was a bunch of ‘ego trips,’ which I was sometimes guilty of as well. Everyone has an ego one way or another, but there’s a time and place when to know when to put it aside.”
Similar to the single, the EP is one drawn from personal experiences. As Gia puts it, “Every song on this EP represents toxic characteristics we have within ourselves and which sometimes come out in relationships. Every song title is an emotion, a mindset, or a situation I was going through. It’s holding up a mirror to a relationship and pinpointing the things that you’re not OK with because you know you deserve better, and then cutting those people out.”
She adds: “Writing these songs was really is therapy for me. Anything I go through I have to write about and if I don’t, I go crazy.”
Speaking of the EP, her personal favorite track is “Naïve.”
“It’s gritty but also delicate,” she explains. “I love how nostalgic it is, and the way it makes you feel. The day I wrote it, I met one of my favourite producers “The Orphanage,” who I worked on a majority of the EP with. I walked in really depressed after just ending things with my ex. To be honest I wasn’t in the mood to write, but we ended up having a really genuine conversation about our past relationships and sharing all these crazy stories about our exes.
“I’ve had two long-term serious relationships and when both of them ended, they each said something along the lines of, ‘You never felt like my girlfriend.’ It was jarring because we were so young. Sure, we had deep connections, But I guess in the back of my mind, I knew these relationships wouldn’t work out because we were in our early 20s and still had a lot of growing up to do.
“It’s difficult to be fully dedicated to another person when you’re still figuring out your own life and making the mistakes you need to make to become the person you’re supposed to be. I think sometimes it takes dating multiple people to learn what you really want out of a relationship and when you’re young and naive, you don’t want to believe that.”
Drawing on such raw experiences and memories that change as she changes means that Gia’s music is constantly evolving. Reflecting on her current sound, she says, “It’s constantly changing as I realized so much more about the kind of artist I want to be. I was putting out a bunch of singles for a while, and it wasn’t satisfying to me. I wanted to do something more and writing Cut Season was that for me. I feel like you can really be in my world and feel every emotion I was going through while writing it. They were all written in a pivotal time in my life, and they’re all interconnected. That to me is so much more special than just a song here and there.”
While on topic of music making and song-writing, Gia reveals the most exciting part of the process is the exact moment the song is released. “When a song has been living in my head and then bouncing back-and-forth between emails for who knows how long, it’s so liberating when it’s finally out in the world,” she says.
But she admits that the process of releasing music is not without its frustrations. How quickly people consume and then move on from music frustrates her. “We live in a world of artists releasing single after single and sometimes it feels like if you’re not keeping up with the output then you’re falling behind,” she says. “I wish it wasn’t so fast-paced because we could all benefit from stopping and living in the moment, even for a little while.”
Speaking of moments, the conversation shifts away from music and career to life and memories. Gia reminisces on what she considers the most memorable moment of her life and her musical journey, “Hearing how my coming out story and my music have helped people become more comfortable with themselves and who they are. I knew I was taking a chance with coming out so publicly, and to my family too, but I couldn’t keep it from them anymore and also didn’t feel like I needed to keep it from anyone anymore. I want to keep putting music out that’s genuine and hopefully connect with people.”
Gia’s journey has only begun, but she has much to be proud of. Talking about her plans for 2020, she says, “I’m finally putting out my debut EP, so it’s really all focused on putting out the new music and putting my life show together. I want to play as many shows as possible this year. I’m playing my first headlining tour coming up this June so I’m very excited about that.”
Brave in showcasing her vulnerabilities, rooted in reality yet willing to dream, Gia Woods carries forward armed with her music and her hopes of travelling the world, performing in arenas and meeting the people who are listening to her music.
Photo by Alex Michael Kennedy