It’s Gia’s World

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Story // Mateo Palacio

Photos + Edit // Bishop Elegino

Creative Direction + Styling // Mateo Palacio

Assistant Stylist : Olivia Coutre 

Location // Violet 7 Studios – LA 

Let me teleport you to a simpler time – the year is 2006. You’re eagerly anticipating the latest episode of “Hannah Montana” on Disney Channel, while enjoying a refreshing Capri Sun. Just as you’re about to change the channel, you stumble upon a TMZ rerun featuring the three “It Girls” of the time – Paris Hilton, Lindsey Lohan, and Britney Spears who are being bombarded by paparazzi flashes while making a speedy getaway in Paris’s luxurious Mercedes. You’re confused and fascinated at the same. The birth of a pop culture moment was taking place, metamorphosing its self to a glamorous monster. A moment that defined a new generation, and their insatiable obsession for fame, fortune, and above all else – celebrity culture.

Now let’s jump ahead to 2023 where we find Miley Cyrus treating herself to flowers, while Paris Hilton and Lindsey Lohan revels in the joys of motherhood. Meanwhile, Britney Spears continues to keep fans on their toes with her cryptic dancing videos on Instagram. While the OG It Girls may have taken a step back and transitioned into new phases of their lives, their music and party-girl personas remain a source of inspiration and interpretation for many. And lucky for us, there is someone who is keeping the infectious rebellious pop girl energy alive: Gia Woods.

SUNGLASSES : ACNE STUDIOS / JACKET : MAGLENS / SKIRT : FINESSE STUDIOS / SHOES : OTTOLINGER

 

Born and raised in Los Angeles to Iranian parents, Gia began her musical trajectory very early on as a kid. Playing the guitar and writing sappy songs in her bedroom has always been second nature. She describes to me what it’s like to grow up in a city where its preoccupations have always been this idea of fame and excessiveness.

“LA can consume you; I grew up seeing all of that.”

She became completely unphased by being surrounded by famous rich kids who were raised by their nannies.

Gia Woods emulates a hyper-feminine and seductive attitude with her iconic bodysuits, stiletto boots, and, of course, luscious blonde hair.

“I used to actually be very shy, believe it or not.”  (I gasped too; don’t worry.) 

Although she was exposed to such an opulent lifestyle, Woods still experienced a myriad of common teenage out-of-body experiences. Such as academic pressure, parental expectations, and, of course, sexuality. Being a closeted teen due to her traditional Muslim parents caused her to become an inhibited young gay girl without a safety net for natural expression.

“I used to have a girlfriend who I used to sneak into my room; I’d blast music or a TV show, and we just had sex the whole time; they definitely knew what was going on.”

After joining her school choir in hopes of making new friends and breaking out of her glittery-pink eggshell. Little did she know that her voice and performance would impress her soon-to-be manager at the time, who was incognito and scouting kids at the show. 

If that isn’t the most LA thing ever, I don’t know what is!

SUNGLASSES : ACNE STUDIOS / JACKET : MAGLENS / SKIRT : FINESSE STUDIOS / SHOES : OTTOLINGER

 

Shortly after, she was introduced to songwriter to the stars, Jesse Saint John, who has since written hits for Britney Spears, Kim Petras, and Charli XCX. Together they wrote Gia’s first song, “Only a Girl,” a power-pop lesbian love anthem for girls all over who pass love notes in class and watch re-runs of “But I’m a Cheerleader ” after school. The track was a bold move to come out as queer to friends and family, it quickly became a viral hit.

Following the success of “Only a Girl”, Gia took the main stage at LA Pride, performing to an audience of over 3000 people. It was then at that moment that she decided to take a break from the Hollywood strip and truly begin her journey of self-discovery.

It’s 2022, and Gia Woods is back on the scene, sexier and more unapologetic than ever with “Heartbreak County Vol. 1,”  which explodes like a burst of stardust! HBC is about how LA is a place where dreams come true, but also a place where dreams come to die. Gia Wood’s shares what it’s like growing up in LA and seeing both worlds from a completely different lens. 

The EP is filled with soaring choruses, startling rhythms, and sultry dance bops that are oddly direct with tracks like “Oh My God,” and “Next Girlfriend,” where Gia makes you question if you should break up with your girlfriend and date her (tempting), the EP ends with “Fame Kills” which leads with darker synths and electronic innuendos with lyrics like : “fame kills, we swallow the same pill, the place is too high for all the cheap thrills.”

Just a few months later “Heartbreak County Vol. 2” dropped, giving us a deeper look into Hollywood, fame, and the real emergence of her personal heartbreak with tracks like “Lesbionic” and “Hello”. Everything is blurry and distorted, but the feelings are real. 

“HBC Vol.2 is about going through heartbreak in Heartbreak County. The escapism, the women. The way LA can make you feel so high at times but ultimately leave you alone” Gia shares.

SUNGLASSES : ACNE STUDIOS / JACKET : MAGLENS / SKIRT : FINESSE STUDIOS / SHOES : OTTOLINGER

 

As I attempt to contour my face before a night out, “Cover Girl” plays in the background on repeat. Electric guitars echo amid icy synths that are meant to give you chills, and those sexy auto-tuned chants…. sure make me fizzle like a jolly rancher. 

In theory, Heartbreak County V1 and 2 reflects the popular zeitgeist that we are currently living in, and to be honest, it’s terrifyingly beautiful. Hollywood has become a place of abode to Tik Tok stars and OnlyFans content creators, to the commodification and branding of oneself as if we were all products to be sold.

Most recently Gia Woods dropped her first single from her latest project “Your Engine”. The name of the track is called “ Gia Would “ a song that was inspired by a really tough time in Gia;s life when she found two of her ex girlfriend’s were dating each other which sent her down a full spiral which made her release all her inhibitions and formally dance in the dark. 

 

Recently, Gia Woods unveiled her debut single from her latest project titled “Your Engine.” The track, named “Gia Would,” draws inspiration from a challenging period in Gia’s life when she discovered that two of her ex girlfriends were dating each other. The fast pumping beat synchronized with the electric synths are sure to send you to the dance floor as you sing along to Gia’s sultry voice. It’s all about releasing your inhibitions  a dancing into the darkness.

Gia’s second song titled, “Elevation”  dropping today sets the tone for what this project is all about, the EP continues to explore themes of reigning duality. The connection with someone or the experience of doing something for the first time. Her voice is stronger and more robust as the chorus soars “E-e-elevation” with electro-violin stabbing into the dirty beat.

Gia Wood’s upcoming record is set to release later this fall. The EP is all about fulfilling one’s darkest desires and manifesting all the fantasies that are only heard in our own lucid imagination. Sex, love, success, fame, pain, safety, thirst, religion, money… “Your Engine” is a ride filled with multiple stops, turns, and bumps along the way. It speeds up, it slows down, but it never stops moving.It’s Gia’s World bitch! Let’s party.

FULL LOOK : OTTOLINGER // NECKLACE : HEAVEN BY MARC JACOBS

 

Gia Woods has come a long way, and I am so excited for the future. What I love most about her is that she can be whatever she wants to be at any time, and as much as it is music or fashion, her art is a manipulation of the image and ideas of a contemporary celebrity, but one who is more aware. Having a new-age pop star who communicates with us through queer tropes from a hyper-feminine or femme fatale-esque point of view is powerfully refreshing.

Check out our interview below 

What was your fondest memory as a young performer?

It’s crazy to see how not shy I am anymore. I remember when my sister had her wedding and she asked if I could sing a song. I sang Hallelujah by Jeff Buckly and I literally had to turn around in order to sing the song. I was so shy and it was around a big amount of people because we have a huge family. I remember being in my little white flower girl dress playing with the guitar and shaking because I was too nervous to look at anyone.

How do you really feel about fame?

I feel a lot of things. It really depends how you use your fame. It can be so destructive or it can change the world. I grew up in LA around fame and have lots of friends in the industry. Being in an environment like that you can see the dark sides of fame. I’ve seen the most talented people have an insane amount of struggle with fame and it’s gotten bad, whether it’s drug use or just going through a dark hole. I think it really depends on the people you surround yourself with and not allowing the stress and attention cause you to have a mental breakdown.

Aside from music and girls, what else are you really into?

Obviously I love music and girls, who doesn’t! I think I’m just really into wanting to live a life where I can see the changes I want to see, in terms of wanting to help people. I’m into wanting to see justice in the world and people coming together. There’s so much coming from a social and political view that I would want to change. I’m also into movies, architecture, interior design, fashion and I would love to explore acting one day. Being a part of a really cool film or maybe writing a short or a film. Most importantly, I’m into wanting to live life to the fullest and get everything I could ever imagine out of this life.

Can you tell me more about Iran and the politics involved with being queer?

I was fortunate enough to be raised in LA by Persian parents who immigrated here. It’s so sad to hear how behind Iran is as a country. I hate everything about their political views and the way they treat women. It’s a male dominated country that’s threatened by women and don’t want them to have a voice. It’s such a beautiful country and there are good people there but it’s the people in power that are suppressing the rest of the country. Basically, if you’re gay in Iran you’re killed so I have a lot of thoughts on that. I just can’t believe I’m from a country that’s being operated this way and killing innocent lives.

What is your hope for the Future for the country of Iran?

My hope is justice and freedom for women. I want to see women in power and see them be able to do whatever they want, wear whatever they want, and be whoever they want. I hope that they can be accepting of the LGBTQ+ community and that there will be someone new in power that can bring peace into the country. I hope that more queer artists, like myself, will come forward and be able to perform there. There needs to be so much more change to become a place for people to come out and be themselves. Iran needs to be completely reconstructed as a whole and my hope is that happens sooner rather than later.

If you could resurrect any pop star that you could do a feature with would it be?

I have three! I would pick Kurt Colbein. I remember the first time I heard Nirvana and I was obsessed with every song I ever heard by them. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” was one of the first songs I ever learned on the guitar. I loved the writing and the way they wrote their music was so free and no one has been able to come close to Nirvana. Another one would be Freddy Mercury. I mean, come on, Queen is one of the best bands period. After watching their documentary I was just blown away. In general, I think Freddy Mercury is such an icon and I feel like that would be really cool. Or Aaliyah as well. I actually owned a dress that was worn in the first movie they made about her. My friend coincidentally played her in the movie and she gave it to me. I really looked up to Aaliyah. With her vocals and her energy you can tell that she was such a special person.

What are you currently daydreaming about ?

I am daydreaming I am on a world tour playing show after show after show. I can’t wait for the day that I’m traveling Europe and performing and connecting with people who are connecting to me and the music.

 What can we expect for the rest of 2023, anything particularly exciting you might wanna tease us about ?

Get ready for the new music! I feel like I’m continuously evolving and I have endless things I’m inspired to make. I have put so much care and attention to detail into this world that you’re about to enter. It’s an era not just songs. For anyone listening or to those just discovering, I am excited to bring you guys to this whole new world we’re about to enter. I will also be doing a lot of live performances so keep an eye out.

CONNECT WITH GIA WOODS

INSTAGRAM // SPOTIFY //

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