Queer Dance-Pop Star Gia Woods Talks TIDAL SESSIONS, ‘Heartbreak County Vol. 2’ And More

Queer alt-pop star Gia Woods has been a consistent voice for LGBTQIA+ visibility in the music industry. Her energetic music and performances address the importance of being open and honest about sexuality and identity. She draws attention to the power of space and representation in giving voice to the LGBTQ+ community.

Make sure to check out Gia Woods’ SESSIONS performance on TIDAL to experience the artist’s unique take on pop music and LGBTQIA+ visibility. The performance is an intimate and vulnerable look at the artist’s journey and her stance on representation in the music industry.

This SESSIONS performance gives fans a unique chance to be up close and personal with Gia Woods. It’s been three years since the release of her debut album, “CUT SEASON,” and Gia is back with a vengeance. Her music has been a powerful homage to her queer identity and what it means to be out and proud.

In the words of Gia Woods: “No one’s really different; we’re all the same. It’s all based on our circumstances and what we identify with,” says the Los Angeles native. My life has really shaped me by being raised by immigrant parents from Iran. Gia woods explains that she was a “loner” and wasn’t sure how to fit in, but she figured it out independently.

You can follow Gia Woods on TIDAL to stay up to date on her upcoming music releases. With her SESSIONS performance and forthcoming album, Gia Woods will surely be the queer pop star to watch in 2023.

Catch the full interview below.

You were discovered during your senior year in high school. Tell me more about how this happened. Was this known among your classmates? Were you the cool senior of the year? Haha! I definitely was not the cool girl in high school or senior year. Part of the reason why my older sister pushed me to join my high school choir was because I was so quiet and shy, but she knew joining would force me to be social. She also wanted me to be involved in music because she was my number one supporter. Coincidentally, my choir had a night called “coffee shop nights,” and one student performed a solo each night. The night I was up to perform it was a Beatles tribute night so I sang “Nowhere Man,” and there was a girl in the audience who was there to scout talent. She ended up being the reason I got my first shot in music. She became my manager and put me in the studio where I recorded my first song, “Only A Girl,” that went viral on YouTube.

I love how you made your first single (in 2015) about your first same-sex relationship and have since appeared in Calvin Klein’s 2019 Pride campaign and even performed for a few pride festivals. Why do you feel it’s important to use your platform to represent the LGBTQ community? 
As much as it’s been great to see a lot of LGBTQ voices rising recently and seeing Pride being celebrated, we still have so much more work to do. For me especially, I grew up in an old-fashioned Persian household where I wasn’t even aware of the LGBTQ community because I was sheltered, and that was really isolating. I think that’s why I’m very loud and unapologetic now because I wasn’t like that growing up, and I feel like that is my purpose in this crazy job I’ve chosen. I didn’t see much representation growing up; I’m a representation of myself and all the girls who are gay and feminine, and I hope that it makes people aware that they aren’t alone and to know they can be themselves. I want to create a community around me where everyone can come together with me and know we’re the same. 

You recently released your SESSIONS feature with Tidal, which showcased four of your songs Spend It, Lesbionic, Pretty Cold Heart and Cruel Intentions. How was it working with Tidal?
 TIDAL is great. They’ve always been a big supporter of my music from the beginning and I feel like they really understand where this is going. They gave full creative support to us on the SESSIONS video. 

As you already know, TIDAL RISING is focused on helping artists reach their full potential through education and connections and so they can just make music! In what ways has Tidal helped you elevate? 
TIDAL really means it when they say they want to support rising artists, from playlisting, to covers to SESSIONS. They allow me to have a platform to share my vision in so many ways.  

Who are some artists you would love to collaborate with? Madonna, Kylie Minogue, Daft Punk, and The Weeknd.

Walk me through your latest project Heartbreak County Vol. 2. What was the creative concept behind this EP? The story behind this project was all about the city of Los Angeles in the beginning, how it is to be heartbroken constantly in the world of comparison and trying to share your life with the world through art, but it ironically turned into actually being about heartbreak. I got heartbroken while writing the second volume and I wrote about the phases of how it is when you go through a break up. It’s almost like a death, which I also experienced before the project when my dad passed away. You go through phases – phases of anger, rebellion, escapism, partying, and then ultimately are left dealing with the sadness.   

I love your sound. It has this early 00s sound of Paris Hilton mashed up with 2023 sound of Kim Petras. Pop fusion. Where do you draw inspiration from? Who are some artists that contributed to your sound? Actually, it’s funny that you say that, because I initially drew my inspiration from bands like Green Day and Nirvana mixed with Britney Spears, Madonna, Kylie Minogue. Madonna is my biggest inspiration, but recently I’ve gotten more involved on the production side. I love the production of dance music especially from the 80s and Italo Disco so I feel like I’m creating a sound that’s inspirated by classic dance and rock but then vocally it’s Pop.  

The definition of Contrast is “to be strikingly different.” What makes Gia Woods strikingly different? No one’s really different; we’re all the same. It’s all based on our circumstances and what we identify with. I think my life has really shaped me being raised by immigrant parents from Iran. I was a loner, I didn’t know how to fully be myself in this world and I figured that out because I had to. I think there are people who live in fear and there are people who choose to be loud and bold. I’ve become loud for others and myself and I guess that’s what makes me different.  

Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Contrast Magazine. michael@contrastmag.us


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