Gia Woods Soars Above Adversity, Discusses "Jump The Fence"
Gia Woods is opinionated, strong, and talented. At only 22-years-old, she’s just getting started, too.
Backed by The Chainsmokers’ Disruptor Records, the alluring pop singer-songwriter isn’t a stranger when it comes to making headlines. Coming out to her Persian mother and father in her “Only A Girl” music video in 2015, Billboard covered her brave journey on Coming Out Day. It was a bold move that payed off in a major way. “Only A Girl” has over 10 Million YouTube views, with an endless amount of supportive comments to back it up. “Jump The Fence” dropped today, and the singer is looking to make a splash yet again. Woods likes what she likes, and is never going to hide it.
“I’m not changing,” Woods tells Music & Mojitos in an exclusive interview.
Listeners can hear hints of Charli XCX and Daya in Woods’ unabashed perkiness. Her aura has three essential elements to it: confidence, edge, and sex-appeal. When it comes to finding success on the roller coaster that is known as the music industry, Woods has her eyes focused on the top prize of pop superstardom. She has visions of traveling to Italy, and playing festivals like Coachella and SXSW. Woods wants to get to the point where she can go to LA’s On The Rox, and sip on a martini in the afternoon without a care in the world. It’s not going to be an easy road, and Woods is up for the challenge. Eager to learn the ropes and hit the ground running, Woods has the youthful enthusiasm of someone who is seeking something greater. She’s part of a new wave of artists who are fearlessly pushing the boundaries of conventional pop ballads.
At a young age, Woods knew that music was going to be her calling. Extended family had an influence on her early development as an artist.
“I had a cousin who was always into music. She had instruments in her room. When I was younger, I would go over to her place and play with her instruments,” says Woods. “I started teaching myself how to play the guitar. I would write songs in my room—all of the time.”
Experimenting with her guitar and lyrics, the singer’s creative process eventually led her to the next phase in her life. Woods joined her high school’s choir and orchestra. She knew that music is something that she wanted to do, but had no idea how to get her foot in the door. Woods didn’t know who to talk to when it came to creating a roadmap for her success as a musician. A chance encounter created an opportunity of a lifetime for the singer.
“[My parents] weren’t teaching me anything. It all happened at my choir. My [future] management team happened to be in the crowd. They scouted me after a particular performance one night,” says Woods. “I joked, ‘What are you doing here?’ It ended up working out. We got lunch one day, and we got really close. I was told that I should start writing music. I asked myself, ‘Can I? How do I do this?’ From there, I started writing every day.”
The “Jump The Fence” singer believes that a solid support system plays an essential part in ultimately feeling free. That’s a concept she’s still trying to create with her parents. Woods tells Music & Mojitos that although her parents are great people, they will need to learn how to accept her for who she is.
“That could take forever,” she laughs.
As a proud member of the LBGTQ community, Woods makes it incredibly clear to her family that her identity as an emerging artist who likes women is as raw and real as it gets. It’s often a struggle to make her message heard when it comes to the people that helped raise her.
“It’s weird. [My career is] still not a totally open discussion. My parents don’t understand what I’m doing, but at the same time…they do. They are super old-fashioned,” confesses Woods. “They ask, ‘How is the music going?’ They don’t understand what it takes to be an artist.”
Being an artist isn’t easy, and not everyone understands that sacrifice is a huge part of being a creator. This includes letting go of toxic relationships. Woods touches on how outside influences can be detrimental to personal growth; opinions can be harmful, and Woods wants her fans to be aware of that. One must remove toxicity in order to prosper.
“It can be what you do, what you say, or who you date. Even your own friends might give you advice on every aspect of your life. It’s just a lot,” Woods tells Music & Mojitos. “Sometimes it makes you make decisions that you often wouldn’t do.”
When it comes to dropping her latest single, however, Woods knew exactly what she did want. “Jump The Fence” is a breezy, uplifting anthem that celebrates youth, joy, and freedom. It’s what music fans have been craving for this winter season. The 22-year-old Woods reminds listers to follow their dreams and just go for it. It’s easier said than done.
“It’s about going for it, and taking that risk. It’s about doing whatever it is that really makes you happy, without caring about what another person thinks,” Woods nods.
It was a long road for Woods to get to that point in her life. She told Music & Mojitos the moment where she couldn’t hide who she was any longer. When she first started working with her management team, nobody had a clue. Neither did her family. Woods was in a serious and private relationship with another girl that was low-key.
“It was really scary,” remembers Woods. “When I started to write songs, I wasn’t saying ‘he’ or ‘she.’ At that point, I knew that I didn’t want to keep lying to myself. I wanted to be open about this. I told my team, ‘Oh by the way, I like girls.’ They were like, ‘Wait. Why didn’t you tell us? That’s amazing.’ That’s when doors started to open, and I felt comfortable being open about it.”
That’s when “Only A Girl” became a reality. Woods made it a personal mission for the track to be her debut on the scene. It was the perfect introduction, and a first step in establishing her voice to a wide audience. While her cousins and siblings embraced her, the singer vividly remembers when her parents viewed the video for the first time. It was a pivotal moment.
“I was really nervous,” says Woods. “Still to this day, my parents think it was just for music. They don’t think that it’s a serious thing. It’s an unspoken topic. They saw the video, and said, ‘Oh my God! This is cool.’ I had to be clear that I was actually dating a girl. This is me. This is who I am.”
Recently, Woods found out that her mother and father could sing. The budding singer believes that her talent is in her blood, and is grateful for it. She hopes that one day she will win compassion from her parents as well.
“It’s up to me to teach my parents,” concludes Woods.