Her name might not be that familiar around this part of the world just yet but things seem to be looking up for New Zealand singer Theia.
Born Em-Haley Walker in Christchurch, Theia came onto the scene last year with the release of her first single, Roam. In an e-mail interview, Theia, 26, reveals the story behind Roam.
“I wrote Roam a few years ago when I was in between studio sessions in Sydney (Australia) and Auckland (New Zealand). I was feeling a little unsettled – staying in hotels, being away from my home and family and mildly freaking out about the prospect of this being my life for the foreseeable future.
“I wanted to write a song that would help ground me,” she notes.
Apart from Roam, the other songs in her EP include Silver Second, Treat You, Everything, Forever and Champagne Supernova, which has nothing to do with the Oasis track of the same name. Theia – who describes her Greek goddess stage name as empowering, quirky and beautiful – says that her version of Champagne Supernova was inspired by fashion icons Alexander McQueen, Kate Moss and Isabella Blow.
“I find inspiration in so many things but I definitely find that fashion and music are the biggest sources. For me, the two go hand-in-hand,” she shares.
Describing her brand of music as “glitter pop”, Theia actually bears an uncanny resemblance to Lady Gaga. Their music styles are different, however, with Theia sounding more ethereal and dreamy.
The singer does credit Lady Gaga as one of her influencers, music-wise, when she was still a teenager. “Music has always been an important part of my life. I started writing songs when I was just little; I’d write about ponies and love!
“Later in my teens, I took inspiration from artistes like Amy Winehouse, Rihanna and Lady Gaga. And when the time was right, after I’d finished my studies at university, I decided that I wanted to throw myself into it and give music my best shot,” she says.
Theia then worked a number of odd jobs – she was reportedly a lifeguard! – to pay for studio and recording sessions. “That’s when things began to take off for me.”
Ready for the world
Her hard work paid off as Theia is not only becoming known for her singing but also for her songwriting chops. To promote her EP, Theia did a short tour in her home country.
“It was my first headlining tour. A year ago I’d never really performed live before … it feels like a dream come true. I’ve definitely got the touring bug, I cannot wait to travel and play more shows!” she says.
The everlasting support and love from her fans has been instrumental to her career. In fact, Theia shares this message to all her fans out there: “Thank you, thank you, thank you! I feel so blessed to have such cool fans. It’s been so incredibly heartwarming to get messages from people all over the world saying that they’ve heard my music. I truly value each and every message i get. It means so much.”