It wasn't until after confiding the truth in her manager, Gia explains, that she realized she couldn't continue as an artist without unleashing her authentic self. "[My manager] was like, 'you need to write about that. You need to write a song about finding yourself.' I was shy and scared... but I was like, 'I know you’re right.'" For the first time in her life, Gia found herself addressing lyrics to a "she" instead of a "he" that had never existed at all. Suddenly, her coming-out letter to the world was written in the form of a chorus that finds significance in its simplicity: "Only a girl/ Knows how a girl feels/ Only a girl/ Can make me feel this way."
"When my video came out, my family and friends saw it, and that was kind of my first step towards, hey, this is me. This is who I am,” she says. She adds that the response so far has been nothing but positive. "The LGBT community has embraced me from day one. When my video came out, they were the most supportive, I have to say, with helping spread it and share it," says Gia. "They are my day ones. That’s definitely my lane in the industry."
It's a lane Gia continues to tread with her newest track, "What I Like," a bubbly, positive melody fans might be surprised to learn she wrote after her first breakup. Gia says she first got the idea while meditating, a new ritual she picked up from her manager and continues to practice daily. "When I went into the session, I was like, 'I want to write about the things I like, not the things I’m lacking,'" she says.
Written by Gia and songwriting collaborator Jesse Saint John, the result is a breezy, carefree self-love anthem helmed by acoustic strums and crisp production courtesy of King Henry (of Major Lazer and Justin Bieber’s "Cold Water," Beyoncé, The Weeknd) and Morgan Taylor Reid (Backstreet Boys). And filming the party-centric video, directed by Gianennio Salucci, was just as fun as it looks -- Gia adds that the final scene, where the group gorges on cake with their bare hands, was ad-libbed. "We were wrapping up, and I kind of just went over there and grabbed a piece and started eating it...[Salucci] started filming me," she says.
The same fun-seeking, self-accepting spirit runs throughout Gia's debut EP, Keep On Coming, which Gia describes as "alternative trap" mixed with elements of pop. "I think no matter what, [success] will happen for you, whether right now, or five years from now. That inspired the title," she adds. "That no matter what, if it’s meant to be, it will keep on coming."
For Gia, seeking personal truth is the first step. When she's not in the studio working on her EP, that includes mediating, cooking at home with her girlfriend ("we make the best steak," she says, giggling) and hiking -- following the interview, Gia says she'll head to L.A.'s scenic Runyon Canyon Park.
"My biggest thing is being genuine, and always being honest with who I am and what I’m about. There are so many people who put on a facade," Gia says. "People need to be reminded to embrace themselves, and I think that’s my purpose."