New Zealand pop princess Theia drops her brand new EP Not Your Princess on Friday 12th April. This new EP revisits Theia’s sassy pop singles such as Bad Idea and Bye Bye, and also includes two brand new tracks. Telling Everyone My Name explores the brooding side to Theia’s songwriting and Honest is a glittering electro-pop production.
Theia released the title track Not Your Princess last month, which she celebrated with a sassy DIY video on International Women’s Day, featuring influential, kick-ass womxn and female identifying and non-binary babes from all backgrounds. It is a power anthem about taking control and saying ‘screw you, you don’t own me!’
Hailing from Christchurch, New Zealand, Theia- aka Em-Haley Walker- raises the bar and firms up her reputation as one of New Zealand’s most exciting new music acts. Theia opened Sia’s NZ Stadium Tour in 2017, alongside MO and Charli XCX. Theia released Bye Bye in Spring 2018, produced by LA-based ARIA-nominated Producer of the Year Tony Buchen. The song was written in Sydney with legendary US producer MikeElizondo (Eminem, Dr Dre, P!nk). Samantha Urbani (ex-Friends) also created a glittering rework of the track. Theia has since been dropping hot new tunes such as Bye Bye, Bad Idea and Candy receiving more than one million streams along the way.
Read the interview below..
PHOTO FRANCES CARTER
Words: Jason Kattenhorn
Sassify Zine - April 2019
Tell Sassify a little bit about you and your sound…
I’m a singer and a songwriter from New Zealand. I was born in Christchurch but I spend most of my time travelling around from city to city - most recently Sydney, Australia. My sound can best be described as alt-pop. I love the art of a good top line (melody and lyrics) and always add ethereal harmonies and grungy edgy production. My new material is quite upbeat and epic sounding. Also totally full of sass!
You recently released ‘‘Not Your Princess’’ on International Women’s day, what prompted its release?
The song ’Not Your Princess’ came out just before IWD and despite the strong ‘girl power’ message in the song, the timing was actually just a coincidence. Once I realised how close the song’s release was to such an important day, I decided to release two videos - my version, which is a DIY karaoke style shot in my bedroom and a second version (on IWD) featuring bad-ass babes from around the world.
The song itself was written in Sydney. It followed a challenging time when I’d been questioning the direction I wanted to take in the music. I was feeling inspired by the energy of a new city and working with new people so the song came naturally - from a place of feeling motivated and ready to kick ass. It felt like I was taking back some of the control that I’d lost a bit of in the process of trying to establish myself as an artist.
The video is a powerful representation of womxn and non-binary babes, how intentional was this?
I made a note of all the babes on my Insta that I admired, from all over the world, who are unapologetically themselves and super badass. I sent them the song, explaining the video concept and inviting them to take part, to just do their thing and film in a space they were comfortable in.
I ended up with around 20 features in the video - from all walks of life. It’s so beautiful and full of joy. Everyone feels a connection to Not Your Princess and celebrating strength. In short, the womxn/non-binary babes who inspire me are from all backgrounds and there’s absolutely no question that my art - and the IWD video in particular - represents and includes everyone.
How important is it to have Queer + folk representation in mainstream media?
Absolutely important! It’s amazing how many LGBTQ+ folk I have as fans. Many reach out on social media and tell me how much meaning they find in my songs - or how my music has helped them come out. It’s always touching to hear because as someone who grew up feeling very much on the outer and struggling with my own identity at times, I know how important it is to have people to look to for support and understanding, particularly people in the public eye. So there is no question. There MUST be representation for minorities in mainstream media.
In light of the terror attacks in the New Zealnd Mosque, how vital is the fight for a more open and accepting society?
The terror attacks are heartbreaking. My immediate reaction was shock and disbelief, which then transformed into anger, as I am sure it was for many. But then you realise that what’s needed isn’t anger but standing together in solidarity and love. It reinforces that we must never stop fighting for what is right; we must never stop challenging racism and hatred in all its forms.