Shining Bright: The Theia Interview
New Zealander Em-Haley Walker (better known as Theia) is on the verge of releasing her debut EP through Warner Music. Her online following soared after the viral success of her first single 'Roam' - which has been streamed nearly six million times on Spotify. Theia was kind enough to answer some questions for us - we can't wait to see where she goes to from here:
ITNOR: For your first two singles 'Roam' & 'Silver Second' you worked with Josh Fountain (of LEISURE) and Alex Hope (who's written for the likes of Troye Sivan, and BROODS, among others). What producers have you linked up with for your upcoming material?
Theia: I've continued working with Josh for the EP. He's such a talent and a great person. We get along very well and understand each other. The collection of songs I've created with him is really a diary and each one has its own identity and vibe. As for the material after that, I can't reveal too much, but there are collaborations in the works.
Your debut song 'Silver Second' had quite a different feel to 'Roam'. It seems to have more of an R&B sound/influence to it. Who would you say you listen to, or look to for inspiration when writing & recording?
'Silver Second' and 'Roam' were recorded only a week apart from each other yet each track has its own meaning and message. Like everything in life, you continue growing and being inspired by different things, so my influences also continue to grow. My sound is eclectic: a mix of R&B, urban, dance and electro pop with ethereal vocals, layers of backing vocals and sharp lyrics and melody. A lot of my work is personal and it is a cathartic process taking those experiences and turning them into a song.
Tell us about your most recent single 'Champagne Supernova', and the lyrical inspiration behind it?
The title, 'Champagne Supernova', came from a book I was reading called 'Champagne Supernovas' about the 90s renegades of fashion, many of whom have influenced me: Alexander McQueen, Kate Moss, Isabella Blow and Tom Ford. I was drawn to the metaphor of champagne, a symbol of elegance, and a supernova - the brightest kind of star that is dying. It's a song about inner turmoil and facing your demons, whatever they may be.
Is there any connection between your chosen artist name of Theia (which means "goddess" / "divine") and the fashion, accessories, and styles / looks you exhibit through your performances, videos and imagery?
I wanted a name that encompassed everything about me as an artist, both sonically and aesthetically. Theia is the Greek goddess of the sun and the moon. With my music and look, I’m aiming for edgy and ethereal, powerful, feminine and strong. I feel that ‘Theia' is just that, so it's a match made in heaven.
How was it performing with BROODS & Kings on the Electric Coastline Tour over New Years?
I absolutely loved it. Touring and performing is addictive and there's something so special about taking your music from the studio and sharing it with an audience. Both Broods and Kings are lovely people and incredibly encouraging, I'm so grateful to have toured with them.
What are some of the things you've learned and are applying towards your own live show?
I get extremely nervous before shows and so a major thing I've learned is taking your nervous energy and instead of letting it cripple you, turning it into a positive, riding on the adrenaline and consciously opening up rather than shutting down.
How far away is the EP that you've been working on?
The final touches are being made and it will be out to you all very soon! I'm so excited to share it with everyone as it's a very special body of work and a labour of love most definitely.
PHOTO: Matildacantdance photography