"You need to do what you actually want to do" - meet dark-pop's strongest newcomer: Viia

Credit: Barnaby Fairley

Meet Viia: the 17-year-old musical virtuoso. The upcoming starlet has recently released her debut single 'Falling'. The song is a dark-pop masterpiece embedded with sensual guitar and sultry vocals. We chatted to Viia to find out a bit more about the single and her musical involvement leading up to the release.

Viia's true passion has always been music. This comes as no surprise due to her prevalent ardour when talking about the release and her experiences with the industry. The newcomer grew up with a music-adoring family. Her youth was heavily dominated by alternative rock being played at home. "I definitely was brought up with music. My parents always listen to like The Killers and Muse and stuff." Growing older, she began to take her love of music in her own stride. Her first performances were in plays and then as time progressed, she started playing in bands in school. This is where she took a liking for performing rock music. “It's quite hard to remember because I was really young then, but I started doing plays, and then I was like, 'I love it', so I started doing band stuff. That's when I embraced being a solo rock singer". Viia's whole world, both inside and outside of school, started to be enveloped by rock.

For Viia, it is of critical importance that artists genuinely enjoy the art they are creating. The singer divulged the notion that many people who have a career as performers decide to release music they know will succeed. Even if that means they are letting go of what they believe in; "I think a lot of people try and like, follow what they think will sell, you know?". This is not Viia's style. She stated she’s "always kind of stuck to what I wanted to be my sound and also image-wise as well."

"I've spoken to a lot of people that I'm friends with as well who are in the music industry and a lot of them are like 'oh, well I'm wanting to do this, but I feel like people won't like it, so I'm gonna do pop or like R&B'. I'm like, don't do that. You need to do what you actually want to do". Despite Viia being newer to the scene, she knows who she is as an artist, and she is not ashamed of it.

'Falling' is Viia's anthemic debut single: a powerful dark-pop ballad that incorporates classic rock elements with a modern pop twist. The release was created and written by Paul Whalley, Willie Scott, Bandit and Viia herself. 'Falling' opens with a man's voice delivering a rejection speech via voice message. A superiorly creative and captivating way of starting a track. The voice message was, in fact, a recreation of one Viia had received. She told us that the song's creation stemmed from a chorus that Bandit had written, one very similar to the one heard in this release. "Bandit had this chorus that she'd written, it was like 'falling', and I was like 'Oh my God, this really ties in with what we wanted to write about'". From thereon, the formation of the track was smooth sailing, with the key ideas constructed. Once the release was nearly completed in its entirety, there seemed to be a gap that needed to be filled at the very start of the song "it was quite static at the start, and we needed to put something in. And I said, 'I have this text message from this guy literally in my notes on my phone. So then we got Bandit's boyfriend to read it because everyone else in the session was northern!"

'Falling' was welcomed with open arms, and Viia's music is already starting to acquire an adoring fan base. Not only has the release had support from Sony, Apple Music and bands such as The Howl & The Hum, Viia has just signed to Paradigm Talent Agency. Speaking of the reaction to the release, Viia expressed: "It was really positive, I didn't know what I expected really, but quite a lot of people, even behind my back, were saying to their friends that it was really good!"

"I don't think I've had any negative feedback, but then if someone's going to slag it off, I don't think they're gonna do it to your face!”

The video for 'Falling' has also recently been released. It is a dark, red-tinted paragon that embodies Viia's aesthetic. Filmed by Ethan Fenton, the video includes Viia in front of a leather-clad sofa, with the view of her coming from a fish-eye lens. Other shots in the video comprise the use of a projector that casts grunge backgrounds. "I just wanted it to be cool because the song is quite dark," said Viia. Green grass and pretty flowers are certainly not a representation of her image. The inspiration behind the music video is found on one of Viia's Pinterest boards, along with The María's artwork. "I made this Pinterest board of settings that I really liked. It's kind of a bit like The María's artwork as well”.

The rest of 2021 for Viia seems very exciting, with more singles and an EP in the works. However, Viia clarified that there is no specific time frame to be limited by. Instead, she wants to make sure that everything is perfect before it is released. "Hoping for the end of this year, but you can't predict things like that. I just need it to be perfect".