We had the good fortune of connecting with VIAA and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi VIAA, do you have any habits that you feel contribute to your effectiveness?
Habits that have helped in my successes are continuous belief in myself, resilience and patience. There are naturally going to be disappointments and setbacks in music business, but I don’t stay down for too long because I believe I will achieve the happiness & success I deserve. Plus, I’ve already had amazing adventures and successes in my eyes, but having patience with myself in the hard times has been really helpful.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am an indie Pop/R&B singer/songwriter and artist. I feel like what sets me a part is my background. I was born in Germany, then my family moved to Ohio, then I moved to LA by myself. All of those geographical and cultural experiences have influenced what music I listen and ultimately what I write. I always listened to pop, r&b, and hip hop of course, but I had a really formative indie rock, emo, screamo phase in the Midwest. In my head there’s a mashup of genres that influence my writing style. I got to where I am today professionally by staying as authentic as possible as a person and artist. I’ve gotten to work with or be helped by amazing, talented people as well. Being a musician is hard work, mentally and physically. There’s a lot of unfun/unglamorous things that come with the fun/glamorous stuff. As an indie artist I’ve had to wear every hat – so while I’d like to only wanna make music and perform, I also have to book my shows and sessions, create content, market/promote myself and music, and do administrative things like emails among so many other things. There’s also another side to the music industry that people don’t see or deny seeing: a lot of misogyny, sexual harassment, racism etc. I’ve tried to overcome those challenges by being really selective of who I work with and who I allow in my circle and I share as much of my experience with others as I feel comfortable with so they don’t have to go through what I have with this industry. Lessons I’ve learned are to try and celebrate myself and be grateful at each step of the way. I’ve also realized it’s really important to figure out what success means to me and strive for that, vs what I THINK I should be doing or what others view success as. I know what it’s like to be oppressed, suppressed, and rejected, so I want people to take away inspiration to be 100% themselves and feel accepted and seen by me and my music.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If someone were visiting LA, I would take them out of LA lol and visit Palm Springs or Joshua Tree (those are a couple of my fave places in SoCal). Otherwise I would take them to Zumba Beach in Malibu, up in the mountains for hikes near Angeles Forest and to a show at Hollywood Bowl (or at least just go there since there are no shows currently). Honestly just driving around different neighborhoods is really fun to me, like Pasadena, Hollywood Lake/park and by Palos Verdes Cliffs. There’s so much great food and coffee here, it’s really hard to choose but there’s a trusty spot near me in Highland park called Amara Kitchen for coffee and vegan food, Natriliart Jamaican food in Arlington Heights or La Pergoletta in Los Feliz for Italian food. There are kind of endless options in LA or CA in general.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I credit my first producer Yeti for helping me make my first EP and being a mentor in the first phase of my music career. I also really credit my band and collaborators like Kyle who helped with creative content, my backup singers Jazz and Keila and my DJ Zuri. They have been really supportive and integral in my journey as an indie artist. Plus, we have had so many amazing experiences touring together – it has definitely been some of the funnest moment of my life thus far. There are so many people to name who have helped in my journey, so really the point is, it takes a village and I appreciate all of them!
Other: Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/6RY8UjKYVCl7SHpNNPMmfs?si=dEyqTVsQSIyK4UqFQ5V2NQ Patreon: Patreon.com/VIAA Bandcamp: : https://viaa.bandcamp.com/
All Images by Kyle Woods