Performing last night at LOVE FROM HOME FEST, music artist Gia Woods, made her debut on NAKID to a phenomenal set! As part of our ongoing coverage all weekend, we sat down to interview each of our guests and this is our interview with Gia!
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your story. How did your background and culture shape you and what creative expression means to you and why?
Growing up I was raised in a very old fashion Persian household. I was very shy and in the closet about my sexuality my whole childhood up until the end of high school. Music was really the only thing that kept me sane and my only outlet. So I think that’s why music was always the one thing that I was drawn to cause I didn’t really have anyone to talk to or express how I was feeling.
What was it like growing up in and around LA for you? How has that shaped your found talent musically?
I always knew. Even my mom did before I was officially born. She said when she was pregnant with me, anytime there was music playing I would literally move and kick her stomach haha.
How has your music process and writing changed from when you started, and what things do you focus on most with respect to your brand or image and music that make up you as a music artist?
Growing up in LA it was definitely clicky. A lot of the kids I grew up with were kids of famous people, or someone who invented something. so I felt like I was always exposed to those kinds of lifestyles it was definitely intimidating. I didn’t have many friends in elementary school and middle school. I was always in my bedroom playing my guitar and writing. I think that played a huge part in me musically. And shortly after I graduated high school I was around a lot of creatives, including my cousin NAR who was in the upcoming cool music scenes. He was friends with many up and coming artists like Grimes, Brooke candy, Charli, and was friends with Jesse Saint John who I met through my manager coincidentally. I’ve worked a lot with him! We ended up writing my first single “Only A Girl” which led me to where I am now!
How has COVID-19 affected you & your family personally and your community during this period of lockdown?
Honestly the process has always been the same! Which is starting most of my songs on a guitar. And that’s how it’s always been for me! I think where I take it after is what I’ve honed in on more. When you write a song on a raw instrument then start actually producing it, it can literally go in any direction and that’s something I think I’ve gotten better at. I have a more clear vision sonically where I wanna take it and even expand on in the next projects. I always focus on the music first, visuals always come second. But I can already kinda imagine it tho while writing it in the moment.
What have you been doing during the lockdown to stay sane?
It’s definitely been taking a toll on all of us. But me and my family were even talking about it the other day. How privileged we are to not have this affect us in ways it is with others. And it really breaks my heart to think about those who have been affected financially. And it’s hard to wanna sit around and complain about being indoors when it could be worse.
If you had to take one person alive or dead into quarantine lockdown with you for 30 days and you only got one object to take with you, what would it be and who would you pick?
For some reason Paris Hilton comes to mind haha and a bottle of wine.
What’s the first thing you wanna do or go to when the lockdown ends, what do you miss most?
Go on tour! I haven’t officially announced the date but we were originally planning on
June. Once we get the go from my agents, I’ll be announcing the official dates! I can’t wait!
What new music do you have on the horizon?
My debut EP “cut season” is coming out this summer so i’m really excited about that!
What’s your spirit animal?
My birthdays May 22nnd so I guess a fox?! Haha
What’s your favorite thing about making music and playing music live?
It’s the best feeling in the world when you write a song whether it be in your bedroom or a group of special people who you write it with and have it live within only those people..then all of a sudden it’s out into the world for people to listen to and relate it to their own lives. It’s beautiful and scary at the same time!
What’s one thing that was a challenge you had to overcome choosing this music path and how did it affect you and your writing?
I think the pressure of being on social media definitely has challenged some artists in some ways of not wanting to share every living detail of their lives. I think that was a challenge for me cause before we really didn’t have as many social media outlets and it wasn’t so focused on that. But now it’s everything. And I think that made me feel super exposed which made me uncomfortable but in a way it’s also weirdly helped me be more confident and just be me.
What’s the hardest thing about being a musician?
I think something we can all agree on is the uncertainty of where your path takes you. It’s exciting and scary at the same time. For me personally there’s nothing I will ever do but music this is it!
How do you think the DYI movement through social media and internet in general has changed the industry and changed the way musical artists like yourself get discovered and reach new fans? What’s that kind of personal ability to directly connect to your fans meant to you as an artist and during this time? How do you think this event in history will change the internet and how we interact socially whether it be music or art or just in general?
I think this is a very interesting time for artists to test their abilities. It’s definitely been a wake up call for me. I feel like I’m a kid again writing in my bedroom just me and my guitar. That’s how it was before. And when it comes down to it that is you! Whatever you create as an artist like being in a nice studio or getting the music produced out fully it all means nothing . At the end of the day if you strip it all back that’s you. And it’s interesting to look at it from that perspective and it’s gonna test a lot of other artists I think to see what they can create during this time. Just within themselves. I think this will definitely change the internet and how we interact. Because when you think about it you see these “celebrities” and think wow their life is so great and it seems like these people are untouchable in a way. And now being in quarantine and seeing all these İnstagram lives or whatever. You really see people’s true colors and who they really are. Not this persona they put on?
What advice do you have for aspiring artists and those out there having a hard time during this time?
Don’t feel pressure to be on your A game right now just because there’s all these quotes about “now is the time to read that book you never read or learn this or learn that” or finish that song! It’s different for everybody and how it’s affecting them mentally or financially as individuals so I think taking it day by day. And finding ways to create when you’re in the mood. I think there’s definitely many ways to create. There’s no right way. And especially more than ever it’s DIY so don’t feel pressured to have your art at a certain level. Just have fun with it!