It's Pia Mia Season

Pia Mia wouldn’t call this a comeback. “It may look like I went away, but I never left,” she tells PAPER. For the Guam native, the unexpected nature of the entertainment industry is what makes her work exciting and fuels creativity. “There’s always hope,” she says.

This is where “Repeat After Me” comes in, the singer-songwriter’s first solo track in three years. Since leaving the major label world and branching out as an independent artist, Mia is ready to begin a new era filled with dreamy sounds and sunshine. The song itself is a plush pop number presented in true Pia Mia fashion, a determined rulebook for cutting off an ex. “I’m not gonna fuck him again/ I’m not gonna touch him again/ Repeat after me/ Repeat after me,” she sings over a throwback vinyl beat.

With such an extensive discography (“Do It Again” and “We Should Be Together” are pop classics, quite frankly), the music world could be Pia Mia’s for the taking. Independent artists like Tinashe, who came up at the same time as Pia Mia, are having a moment right now, so there surely could be room for another pop princess to rise again. It’s only a matter of time.

Below, we sit down with Pia Mia to discuss her return, inspirations and newfound freedom.

You’re one of those “iykyk (if you know you know)” pop girls, at least for me and my friends who love your music. What made you want to make your return?

It may look like I went away, but I never left. I’ve been writing and recording, working on different projects and creating in various fields. In music, I’ve been with major labels, independent and collaborative with other artists and writers. Now, I have an extensive catalog. My upcoming drop has been about finding the right moment. From the beginning of my time in the music industry all my efforts have gone towards the same goal of releasing a full-length album. It’s complicated, and there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes so it would be hard to break it down into one simple answer. As an independent artist it really comes down to the support of the fans, and I can’t wait to see their reactions to Repeat After Me and for new people to be introduced to my music. So much care and patience went into this new music. I didn’t want to rush or force anything. I can’t express how happy and relieved I am that it’s finally coming out.

Can you describe what this new era of Pia Mia means for you?

This new era is a period of moving forward, evolving as an artist, producing new sounds, touring, connecting with those who have supported me, introducing myself to a new audience and having fun. I’m really proud to be releasing more music that I love and created with people who believe in me and want to be part of my journey.

I’ve always loved your name. If you were to go by a different stage name, what would it be?

[Laughs] Thank you! I love my name. It’s cute, short and it rhymes. I wouldn’t want to change it.

What have the past few years been like for you since you last released music?

There are no rules in this industry; anything can happen at any time, and there’s no telling when you’re going to have a moment. That’s something I love about the entertainment business. There’s always hope. I spent the last couple years reflecting on my journey in music so far, making new songs, writing my first romance novel that was released this year called Sand, Sequins & Silicone. There was a lot of creative exploration and I’m very excited the music is starting to drop again.

What is the Pia Mia artist’s ethos?

Romance, taking chances, empowerment, kindness and being the most authentic version of yourself.

What’s inspiring you lately? Films, media, TV, songs, people?

The experiences I have had in love have always been my strongest driving factor in all things. My new music captures the moment in time where you’re going through a breakup and starting to get back out there again. Making music is one of my favorite ways to face the feelings so you can close the chapter.

Photography: Christina Bryson

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