27 Sep 2020

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Theia - Interview with Theia

26 May 2020 // An interview by Gaby Ivanov-Giraldo

Alt-pop singer and songwriter Theia, whose burgeoning catalogue showcases an artist who is unafraid to push the boundaries, has recently released her 99% Angel mixtape which features her brand new single Celebrity. Gaby from Muzic.net.nz spoke to Theia about her primary motivation, key messages and her new music:

What got you into playing music when you were younger, and who are your favourite inspirations?

I did kapa haka when I was younger so that was my first introduction to performance. I also used to write songs when I was little. But it wasn’t until much later - after university - that I got myself into the studio to start recording. There are so many artists who have inspired me, like Amy Winehouse, Bjork, Britney Spears, Stevie Nicks.

What is your primary motivation to create? 

For me music, art and fashion are forms of expression and ways of processing whatever it is I’m feeling. But it’s not necessarily a conscious thing. So, for instance, with songwriting, I don’t sit down and think ‘ok what am I feeling right now?’ It’s often not until much later, when I reflect on a particular song, that I join the dots.

I really like your song Te Kaiwhakaora O Te Ao. Where did you grow up, and how do you see yourself still influencing the music world in New Zealand?

Thank you! I was born in Christchurch and lived there until a few years ago. My iwi is Waikato-Tainui and I still have whanaunga who live near my marae Tauranganui in Port Waikato. I’m just grateful to be able to make music and to always be pushing myself to grow and develop as an artist.

Congratulations on the release of your new EP 99% Angel. What an EP! Each song seems to discuss ideas of self-confidence, body positivity, aversion to misogyny and “slut shaming”. It's great to see people creating music that uplifts us in these regards. Can you tell us a bit about why these messages are important to you?

The songs on 99% Angel are inspired by my journey in music and in life and, as you mention, they do touch on some pretty heavy subjects. But the songs are also empowering. And I think that’s what’s important - if there are messages in my music that resonate with others, and can help lift others up, then that’s really great.

What are other key messages that you try to convey in your music, and why?

My music often resonates with people who feel like they’re on the outside. Maybe they’re not the ‘cool kids’ at school or they feel like they don’t fit in anywhere. I personally know that feeling very well and I guess that’s what comes across in my music. I hope that people take some comfort in knowing that they’re not alone in feeling that way and if my songs give them the courage to be themselves, then that’s truly fab.

What message do you have for other young artists when it comes to what “should be” on the radio? Or perhaps, what is your view on mainstream pop versus your experimental version of pop music? 

I think people should stay true to the sound that they want to make, rather than trying to fit into a particular space. I know it’s easier said than done, as there’s so much pressure on artists to make music for mainstream radio or songs that’ll get playlisted on Spotify. But for me some of the most inspiring and influential artists are the ones who’ve dared to push boundaries - artists like Bjork or Fiona Apple.

Pop music is definitely changing and evolving. What is your view on the current Pop music industry in New Zealand? 

There’s so much great music being made right now, it’s fab. I think it’s cool that there’s so much diversity.

Lastly, where do you see your musical journey heading in 2020? Any shows in mind for the coming of this EP? 

I’m eagerly awaiting to return to Sydney, which is where I’d be based if I hadn’t come back to NZ for lockdown.  I’ve got new music I’m working on and a couple of exciting collab projects in the works.

Check out Theia on Spotify here.


About Theia

Theia is an alt-pop singer and songwriter whose burgeoning catalogue showcases an artist who is unafraid to push boundaries. She has just released her 99% Angel mixtape.

“Theia is one of the most exciting pop voices to emerge from New Zealand in the past five years” - Billboard

“It’s a glorious, empowering mixtape that harks to the brash “no rules” sonic experimentation of contemporary Charli XCS married with melodies that wouldn’t feel out of place on an early 2000's Britney record” - Tone Deaf

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Theia


99% Angel
Year: 2020
Type: EP
Year: 2017
Type: EP
Buy Online @ Mightyape

Other Interviews By Gaby Ivanov-Giraldo

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