From the elaborate stories her mother tells her about how she used to wake from naps and sing from her crib for the whole house to hear to her rise to Music TikTok fame back in December 2020, music has always been a part of Mia Giovina's life.
She begins her mornings by practicing 30 minutes of guitar, followed by 30 minutes of piano. Her afternoons are filled with songwriting and interviews. At night, she’s had the opportunity to attend writing sessions on Zoom with artists everywhere, whether it be England, California, or more local.
“It's just a ton of music all day long, which is how I like it,” Mia says.
In the seven months since Street last sat down with Mia to discuss her knack for transforming our favorite songs in her viral TikToks, the young artist has kept quite busy. She released her first song, "Sirens," in March of this year. Her second song, "Time Machine," was released Friday, July 2.
“In a short amount of time, I’ve really found my sound as a songwriter and artist. I’ve spent a lot of time just working on myself, which has helped me to be more confident in my songwriting, performing, and voice,” she says.
The 20–year–old high school graduate is not currently enrolled in school; instead, she commits all of her time to crafting her music. Mia hasn’t always been a songwriter, though. She first began trying to compose songs when she was 15: “They just were not good. I thought they were really good, but I know they weren’t good,” Mia laughs. She was never able to put more than three lines to paper until the end of her senior year of high school.
When the pandemic hit, Mia almost gave up on her songwriting journey completely. “I hit a wall and didn’t know what to write about. At the beginning of quarantine, I realized this isn’t just a little passion project anymore. This is what I’ve chosen to be my career, and I need to get serious about it,” Mia explains. It was then that she resolved to write a song every single day of quarantine, a lofty goal that she accomplished.
The majority of Mia’s songs are derived from her lived experiences. Her favorite lyrics come from songs that she describes as being “placed into her brain”—songs and lines that come to her out of the blue, that she types in her notes app to refer to the next time she officially sits down to write a song. “I don’t like to force myself to sit down and be creative,” she says. “I like to let the creativity flow on its own.”
While Mia faced pressures to debut her first track right on the heels of her December rise to TikTok fame, the artist decided to take a step back—waiting until she had a song that she felt completely confident in.
Mia’s first release would ultimately be "Sirens"—a ballad that describes the frustration she encountered while outgrowing her hometown. She struggled to write it many times throughout quarantine until her perspective changed last December. Mia realized that wanting to move on doesn’t mean that she dislikes her hometown of Voorhees, New Jersey. It just means she wants to see what else is out there, to have adventures and explore the world.
“It is a very special song to me. It will always have a special place in my heart, and I am very proud of it,” she says. She quickly realized it was the perfect song to launch her career, producing the song herself in her home studio with her father.
Meanwhile, "Time Machine"—Mia’s second original song—was released Friday, July 2. “I wrote it at one o’clock in the morning one night, under my covers in my bed, just sobbing playing [it],” she says. Mia describes the song as writing itself; it is about fear of growing up and longing to go back to a simpler time.
Mia gave an official release performance of the song at City Winery in Philadelphia on the night of its debut. This was one of several in–person gigs she hosted since COVID–19 restrictions have started lifting. In fact, she attributes her newfound love of performing live to the confidence she’s gained as an artist during the pandemic.
“Before [the pandemic], performing out at gigs was a super stressful experience for me. I was always like, Am I going to hit this note? Are people going to like this song? Are people paying attention to me? Now I just do it for myself because I love to do it. If people enjoy it, that’s just an added bonus,” she says.
At the end of September, Mia will travel to Los Angeles to meet her producers, musician friends, and everyone else she’s had the opportunity to work with this year virtually. While she may not be a big name in the music industry yet, Mia is proud of what makes her stand out as a budding artist and looks forward to the new directions that her career will take her in moving forward.
“When I used to write songs, I was hitting walls because I was trying to write about things that I hadn’t necessarily experienced. I grew up listening to Taylor Swift; the majority of her songs are these beautiful, epic love stories. I’ve never been in love. I thought I had nothing to write about,” she says. “I realized that people want to hear songs about the little things they can personally connect to. My music connects to the underdog, because that’s something I’ve felt like for most of my life. I try to write about the small, mundane things and make them poetic.”