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Gia Woods: “Ego”

Queer Persian pop artist Gia Woods wants you to let go of your “Ego”



As a queer, Persian woman, Gia Woods has become an emerging voice in the LGBTQ+ community. Born into a traditional Persian household in Los Angeles, Woods’ parents saw music as a fleeting hobby rather than a promising career. Woods therefore grew up a loner, picking up guitar and violin on her own and listening to everything from Green Day and Björk to Radiohead and Madonna. It was in high school when Woods wrote what would be her first single, “Only A Girl,” perhaps the most emotional song she’s ever penned. Released in 2016, the breathy pop track was also her bold, coming out anthem — to her parents, friends and everyone who didn’t know that part of her life before. Since its release, the impact of “Only A Girl” has just continued to grow — it’s since reached over 10 million views on YouTube and she’s gained over 100,000 subscribers.

As someone who felt she had to hide the parts of herself that fell outside what her Persian family and community felt was ‘appropriate,’ Woods wanted to be unapologetically herself in her artistry. While Woods has solely released a string of singles up until now, her “CUT SEASON” EP is a culmination of Woods’ creative self-discovery throughout the past four years.

In “CUT SEASON,” the 23-year-old singer has curated eight tracks that sum up all of the reasons she needed to dispose of not only the toxic people she had in her life, but the cycles she had with herself: egos, being naive, people who sabotage you or even sabotaging herself. What prompted the mass exodus of negativity was leaving her four-year relationship with someone and the loss of her dad. As Woods dealt with the fallout, she began eliminating her fake friendships and the old habits she knew she needed to break.

“Hungry,” the first single from “CUT SEASON” was what prompted the EP’s powerful theme. As someone who grew up in celeb-centric world of Los Angeles, Woods has been surrounded by people who are starved for attention. On “Hungry” she addresses it by focusing on the importance of trusting your own taste and belief system. Channeling a “Tragic Kingdom”-era Gwen Stefani, Woods’ punk-tinged vocals seethe over nostalgic guitars as she delivers the ultimate kiss-off: “I get a stomachache when I’m seeing you on my phone/ I’m not hungry, bitch, leave me alone.”

Paired with the songs are a collection of episodic music videos Woods co-directed with Jenna Marsh (Kanye, Beyonce, Dua Lipa) and overall creative direction by Joe Perez (Beyonce, Kanye West). The visual for “Hungry” shows Woods working at a strip club and as a masked cheerleader. As different men get in her way, Woods sends a clear message with a baseball bat and a bottle to the head. Like the songs on the EP, the video embodies the confidence Woods has to shut out the noise and listen to herself.

Woods’ latest single “Ego” continues the “CUT SEASON” narrative, and lyrically touches on how the need for control can poison a relationship.

Woods shares this about the song:

“I wrote “Ego” about a past relationship. It felt like a never ending cycle of ego trips and with that comes a lot of power struggles and pettiness. When two people have big egos, there’s almost never a solution. You’re just in a constant state of fighting and ignoring the obvious. For my EP “Cut Season” I wanted to dive into all the toxic people I felt I was surrounded by and emotional patterns I noticed in other people and even in myself. These were reasons to cut them out one by one.”

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january 2022