Recently I had the chance to shoot through some questions to Theia regarding her song “Not Your Princess”, as well as some other topics.
Included is an International Women’s Day version of the music video of “Not Your Princess”.
Ez: Hi Theia! Hope all is well. Firstly, could you tell me a little bit about your musical background and what lead to your pursuing pop music?
Theia: I always really loved music and would write little poems and songs but I didn’t grow up singing or playing in bands. It wasn’t until I was a bit older – in my teens – that I really started to think of it as a career option. Then I injured my leg quite badly and I was bed-ridden for weeks. It was like a turning point for me – I vowed that once I was up and walking again, I’d get myself into a studio and start making music. And that’s what I did.
Ez: It would seem that a lot of pop music has a wide appeal. What is it about pop music that you think makes it so easy for people to enjoy?
Theia: Having a catchy hook and a strong melody obviously helps and I guess if you listen to most songs on Top 40 radio, that’s what you’ll hear. But music is so subjective – for every 100 people who love a song, just as many will dislike it. So even though pop does have mass appeal, it’s pretty divisive too. Personally, I love to hear originality in music. It’s hearing something different that catches my ear.
Ez: You’ve quite recently released a new single – “Not Your Princess”. How did the song come about and what were you looking to get across?
Theia: I made the song in Sydney with producer Liam Quinn. We’d never met before but we just hit it off in the studio and ‘Not Your Princess’ was the result – we pretty much finished it in one day. Like all of my songs, they’re open to interpretation. I want the listener to find their own meanings in my music. But I think it’s fair to say that it’s a sassy song – a declaration of independence, if you like.
Ez: The accompanying film clip seems like it was designed to be a little more fun and light in a sense. Is this the case?
Theia: The video is kind of a play on the notion that music is glamorous, when in fact I’m often writing my songs in hotel rooms or in my bedroom – hence the video is shot in my bedroom, with me singing and dancing in front of a laptop and my phone. It’s all done DIY and very low budget. I wanted to prove that you don’t have to go into great debt making a big-budget music video for your music to connect.
Once I’d finished the video, I decided it would be cool to invite a whole lot of femxle-identifying/nb badass babes to also film themselves singing and dancing to the song in their bedrooms, homes, workplaces – wherever! Then, given the sass and ‘gurl power’ sentiment in the song, I thought why not release that version of the video on International Women’s Day. So that’s what we’re doing.
Ez: And in what way does it compliment / contrast the song?
Theia: The IWD version features around 20 creatives, artists and personalities from around the world, including Melbourne artist Frances Cannon, Melbourne artist and producer Alice Ivy, British artist Olivia Pudelko, Singaporean influencer and blogger Celestina Tiew and even the former NZ Silver Ferns netballer, Irene Van Dyk. They are all people kicking ass in their own individual fields, whom I admire. I am so grateful that they gave their time and talent to the project. It’s so cool seeing everyone getting into the song and totally embracing the message, which I definitely lends itself to an important and significant date like International Women’s Day.
Ez: “Not Your Princess” was released in the lead-up to International Women’s Day. Was this an intentional decision, and in what way does “Not Your Princess” work in context of International Women’s Day? Sorry if this is already covered in a prior question.
Theia: No, the release date wasn’t intentional. That’s just how it evolved. Like I said, my songs are open to interpretation and I think you can apply the lyrics and sentiment in ‘Not Your Princess’ to so many situations, but it certainly lends itself to celebrating International Women’s Day. So when I realised that the release date was so close to IWD, it made sense to invite everyone to be involved in the video. I am so pleased I did – it’s been such a cool project.
Ez: Now, do you consider yourself more of a live artist or a studio artist?
Theia: I’m both. I think it would be very difficult to get a career in music off the ground in a small place like New Zealand if you didn’t perform live. That said, it has taken me a while to find my feet as a live artist. When I released my first official single ‘Roam’ in 2016, I hadn’t really performed live before. So it was a steep learning curve. I think I’m only now just coming into my own as a live artist and I love being on stage. I also could never live without the studio because that’s where I make my music. They go hand in hand. Without songs, you have nothing to perform.
Ez: And how do your songs translate in a live setting?
Theia: I’m releasing my second EP on April 12. It’s also called NOT YOUR PRINCESS. The songs on this new record are definitely a lot more upbeat than my previous EP, so my live set is more of a ‘club vibe’ now that it was say two years ago. Also, most of my songs are pretty bass heavy – so expect LOUD!
Ez: Do you think that “Not Your Princess” will become more massive in a live setting, or quieter?
Theia: With the live set I’m currently working on, massive!