Gia Woods Is the Hollywood Pop Girl

Gia Woods Is the Hollywood Pop Girl

Like all Hollywood gossip, there’s two sides to every story — and for Gia Woods, there’s two volumes. Heartbreak County recounts the pop star’s experiences in the City of Angels, capturing the extreme highs and lows of Los Angeles life across two releases. Where Vol. 1 scratched the surface between lust (“Next Girlfriend”) and glamour (“Fame Kills”), Vol. 2 showcases a “deeper, more raw side” to the artist. “It’s the messy, slutty party phase you go through to forget you’re hurting,” she says. “It’s sexy, but also real.”

Woods leans into that dichotomy to create something of a “triple disco massacre,” as she sings on the BAYLI-assisted guitar-pop banger, “Spend It” — glistening and bombastic, but with a dark side. “Disco heart, you’re spinning me,” she sings on the dancefloor filler, “Disco Heart,” before unraveling: “Round and round, it’s killing me.” On “PCH,” Woods compares the acronym for California’s iconic highway to a lover with a “Pretty Cold Heart.” And as an ode to America’s most superficial city, there’s glossy highlights, like “Cover Girl,” and “Lesbionic,” with a hook more addictive than any drug you’ll find in the Hollywood Hills.

Below, Gia Woods brings PAPER all over Tinseltown, from her perspective.

Where in Hollywood did you first fall in love?

In high school, I fell in love with my best friend. She went to an all girls' school, called Archer, and I went to Palisades Charter High, but we met at a friend's house party. After that she told my friends she liked me, and I lied and denied it because I was still in the closet. But I would stay up all night just to talk to her on iChat, and I would go on her Tumblr and obsess over trying to anonymously ask her questions or read into what she was posting. It was the first time I wanted to know everything about someone.

It wasn't until we kissed on a trampoline at a party, and then also kissed sober the next day and then I knew. It was that cliché young high school love. We started dating in secret for half of senior year and then our friends started to put it together since we were having sleepovers every weekend [laughs]. It wasn't until I dropped a song and video where I came out to the world that people fully knew. It was a big deal because it was the first time I was able to show off someone I really loved.

Where in Hollywood did you first experience heartbreak?

My first real mature adult relationship. We dated for four years and lived together for three out of the four years. We were basically married: We cooked every night, we shared a cat and I was living my best lesbian U-Haul life. Reality ended up setting in and it became a really chaotic relationship, and it was one of the most messy breakups I've ever had because we were so close and then it led to us not talking for two years.

But it gets crazier: we ran into each other at a party and reconnected after the pandemic. It seemed for a second like we were going to be able to be friends again. We were talking and hanging out, until she started dating my most recent ex-girlfriend, which is what I wrote my song, "Cruel Intentions," about. Stream or don't, it's pretty juicy.

Where in Hollywood is your go-to place to get a drunk snack?

I'm not going to lie, I love my chicken nuggets at McDonalds or a Crunchwrap Supreme from Taco Bell. Two Hollywood classics I like are Canters for the matzo ball soup or Jones for the carbonara pasta.

Where in Hollywood is the best place for afters?

It's always fun to go to a friend's place. Beachwood Canyon or up on Mulholland is usually where you can find me.

Where in Hollywood is your favorite place to "spend it"?

Strip club [laughs]. Jumbo's Clown Room.

Where in Hollywood do you go to escape it all?

I always go to this secret spot off of the PCH: it's a view up on a cliff where you can see the ocean and there's two chairs that overlook the ocean. My best friend in high school used to live in this gated community where it is and we would go there all the time. She moved, but I still somehow sneak past the guard gate to get there. The best part is no one knows about it because it's in the community, so it's my secret spot.

Where in Hollywood did you question if you should stay?

When I was going out every weekend and running into both of my exes consistently for three months straight. I was also seeing their friends everywhere and I figured they were talking to them about it. It sucks to date someone in LA because there's never a full way of escaping them. LA is very much a scene. People think it's a big city, but it's actually really small and everyone goes to the same places. I felt really trapped during that time because I just wanted to heal and have a second to re-find myself, and it was really hard to do that when I was constantly reminded about the situation. When I found out my exes were dating, it fucked up the city for me. It's one thing to go through one breakup, but then to have to watch two people you dated running around the city and having to put on a poker face whenever you're out and pretend you don't care.

Everyone wants to know everyone's business all the time. Sometimes being in the industry is fun and exciting, but it also can be toxic and draining because you're constantly on and people expect you to always be a certain way. Honestly, sometimes I just want to be in my sweatpants and hoodie and sit in bed all day, but I have to be out and ready and that's just the way the it is. Part of the job is being at the right places at the right time. Since the pandemic there's even more events going on, so it feels even more nonstop than before.

Where in Hollywood do you feel like a Los Angeles stereotype?

Everyone thinks Hollywood is a place full of glamour and that it has the iconic feel it used to, but it's actually pretty dirty and gross, unfortunately. Another stereotype, as cringe as this sounds: I'm always around celebrities. Most parties and events I go to, there's usually at least one famous person there. My whole life is a stereotype. I'm a pop star in LA [laughs].

Where in Hollywood did you have your first walk of shame?

Shoreham Towers off of Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood.

Where in Hollywood did you feel like you really made it?

My first show ever was LA Pride and there were 3,000 people. It felt really major and it was the first moment I felt like I'm really doing this, music is no longer a hobby. It was a really gratifying moment because not only was it my first show, but it was LA Pride and there were thousands of people watching.

Stream Heartbreak County, Vol. 2 by Gia Woods, below.

Photos courtesy of Ace Aroff