VIAA’s new girl power anthem is about doing what we want
Though you may not have heard of VIAA — born Mia Coleman — she isn’t new to the music industry. In fact, she’s lent her vibey, soulful, R&B vocals as backup for artists like Anderson .Paak and Willow Smith. This bluesy songstress is now taking center stage with an important message from her new single, “Run Around.”
VIAA new single revolves around staying strong, and shows us all that we shouldn’t let any man dominate us. After being in a tumultuous, slightly cray relationship, VIAA knew she had more to offer than just being “somebody’s girl,” which is what “Run Around” is all about.
“It’s a ‘girl power anthem’ because it reiterates that we can do whatever we want: Be single, date casually, date multiple people, and it’s our business what we do. We don’t have to be in committed, serious relationships to be seen as likable or worth something. It’s about throwing those judgements away and starting to normalize things for women that are perfectly normal and healthy, and not just exclusive to men,” VIAA says.
Take a listen to the vibes on Spotify here, and check out our convo with VIAA below.
With all the media attention about sexual harassment against high-powered male figures, why do you think it’s important for women to stick together?
It’s so important for women to stick together right now because, essentially, we are all we’ve got. We live in a patriarchal society where protection and support of women has always been low priority. Even the concept of consent isn’t extensively taught to children growing up. Plus, society perpetuates pitting women against each other in order to succeed or win the approval of men. The more brave women speak out about how something didn’t feel right, or open a dialogue about their experiences, it makes the next girl feel comfortable to speak up and join her. There’s power in numbers and there’s nothing more powerful than a strong woman. As long as women keep creating a judgement-free space for us ALL to thrive — we will take over the world for sure.
You have a lyric, “Don’t test me boy, I’m good here.” What inspired you to write that?
I felt pressure from this guy to commit to only him, but I needed my space, emotionally and physically. If he wasn’t going to give me that, then he had to go. I’m happy with my career being my relationship right now, everyone else is my mistress.
You say, “I have more to offer than being somebody’s girl” — what would you say to another girl who feels like she’s in that same situation?
I would tell her that You are not who you date; your relationships don’t define you. The most important thing in life is to find happiness, fulfillment and purpose within yourself. You and everyone around you will benefit from that. If you feel like you’re successfully pursuing those goals while in a relationship with someone that supports and inspires you, then great. But if your gut is telling you otherwise and your insecurities about it persist, then take some “you time” for growth and clarity. You’ll never regret taking time to get to know yourself better — you will however, regret spending that time devoted to something or someone else and living in the shadows of your own life.
Your musical inspirations are listed as Sade and Joni Mitchell — if you could create the ultimate girl group of musicians with your fave powerhouse ladies, who would you pick and why?
I would pick Sade, Joni Mitchell, Meshell Ndegeocello, the women of Fleetwood Mac and Missy Elliott. Sade, because I love her low vocal register/tone and that she’s so unassumingly emo. Joni Mitchell, because she writes so candidly and could help arrange the live instruments and production with so many different genres; Meshell Ndegeocello because she’s a badass bass player (also has a low vocal register and love her lyricism); Fleetwood Mac women because they would bring that pop 80s feel that I love so much; and Missy Elliott because she’s such a talented producer and would bring good R&B/hip elements to whatever song we wanted.
What do you hope people will take away from listening to your music? And particularly Runaround?
I hope people take away some sense of relatability and/or inspiration in my music. I hope it helps facilitate an emotion that they weren’t able to feel on their own or maybe didn’t recognize they needed to feel until they listened to it. “Run Around” specifically, I want people to recognize that we, women, are gonna live our best lives no matter what you think, so might as well stop wasting your time trying to stop us.
What’s next for you?
I have a music video coming out at the end of November, my EP is dropping at the top of 2018 and then playing a ton of shows because I want to experience as many places and meet as many people as I can through my music!
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Photos by Olivia Judkins