Stalking Gia has always been writing music, but now, the 21-year-old musician is ready to show the world what she is made of. As she works to complete her debut EP for later this year, her single “Born Free,” which premiered on NYLON’s site on March 2, offers a glimpse into her electro-pop style. Stalking Gia is preparing to take on the world with her alternative style, electric feel, and bold lyrics.
Cliché: How’d you come up with the moniker Stalking Gia?
Stalking Gia: I knew I wanted to go out as Gia, since it was my nickname, but I also wanted something else to come out of it. So I thought about how we use and obsess over social media, and how people don’t say it for what it is—which is stalking—so I’m laying it out and saying that’s what’s happening. It was also my username on World of Warcraft three years ago.
How’d you get into music?
I guess there wasn’t one point that I got into it. It’s always been a part of my life. I started out as a songwriter, and I still am for Warner/Chappell. I write for myself, other artists, and films.
I feel like songwriting is something that you can’t be taught, though you can experience how other people write, which can help you get better, by putting yourself in the room with other collaborators and songwriters. I lived in LA for two years—I’m originally a New Yorker and just moved back to New York—and have gotten to write with different people. Things just continued to grow and that led to me singing.
Who is someone you learned from the most?
It’s hard to say who I’ve learned from because I’ve learned from both the good and the bad experiences. When you are in a situation where the first few minutes have passed and you just didn’t click or mesh, you just learn to move on. If something’s not coming naturally, you just have to move on from it and accept that it’s not working. I find that the best songs are the ones that come the most easily.
What’s been one of the most surreal moments of your journey so far?
It was definitely surreal to be flown out to Finland as a songwriter for a writing camp. I mean, just being flown somewhere, so I can write a song? I never imagined that.
What inspires you to write?
I obviously draw inspiration from my own life. I always carry a book with me, usually poetry, and I’ll open up a random page and see a word that triggers an idea for me. I’m also a big Tumblr fan, so sometimes when I’m scrolling through my dash in a session, something will come to me. I’m a visual person, so sometimes I’ll put together photos and these photos become a song.
Who inspires you musically?
There are so many. It varies. I listen to a lot of super old artists on my record player. My dad has so many records stacked up, and I’ll close my eyes and pick one at random to listen to. My inspiration is all over the place and it just comes from every kind of genre.
Do you play an instrument?
I play piano. I taught myself, so I’m not a classically trained musician or anything. I learn piano in my own way and have my own way of doing it.
What’s currently your favorite album?
My friends and I always make Spotify playlists, and I click shuffle on all of those playlists and listen to what’s on there. Right now I really like—this is super weird—but there’s this DJ named Sophie and his tracks are always changing and the sounds are super addicting. They’re really quirky and you have to be in the mood for it.
If you could collab with anyone, who would it be?
I’m going to say Drake. He’s incredible and iconic and epic, and that would be amazing. I wish I was a rapper, but I’m not that cool.
What’s next for you?
I definitely have an EP prepared and ready to go. It’s just a matter of how right now. I play it day by day. I have over 200 songs I’ve written. Some are just things I wrote myself as demos on the piano and some are with producers that aren’t done and others are mixed and mastered. I’m also constantly writing new ones. Beyond the album, I don’t know per se. I’m just in that process where I’m putting together my live show now and I’m going to start booking shows.
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Stalking Gia interview: Photographs courtesy of Total Assault