Delivering an airy fusion of pop, R&B, and hip-hop, MIA GLADSTONE challenges the way we view the internet on “SOCIAL MEDIA,” a bouncy collab with Trent The HOOLiGAN that’s bound to get you thinking about your own relationship with your devices. It celebrates human connection (particularly offline) while highlighting how social media lets us stand in a curated version of reality rather than letting us truly get to know the people we interact with.
“This song is my confrontation with social media as an entity,” Mia tells TREMG. “I always find that when I take space from it, I reconnect to real life and gain this ability to be present, instead of passively doing things while sucked into this virtual world. It’s crazy how much of my time I’ve spent staring at this little screen, convinced that it’s more interesting and stimulating than real life. ‘SOCIAL MEDIA’ is an honest depiction of my experiences with excessively using the internet.”
Within her music and beyond, Mia’s signature is creating art that questions the world around us while highlighting what it could be. Every lyric and visual works together to tell a story about the human experience in a way unlike you’ve heard or seen before, and the multi-disciplinary world she’s built around her upcoming LOOPY project is no exception.
“There’s a concept throughout the project we’ve been infusing in the videos that is essentially me being trapped inside of a pink box, paired with this character who was once a world-renowned life coach who used positive affirmations,” Mia explains. “She was deemed too powerful and banished to the pink box dimension where she stays eternally, and her only form of entertainment is watching her old positive affirmations tapes on an old Mac computer.”
The LOOPY project is definitely one of our most-anticipated projects of the year and we can’t wait to see what Mia has up her sleeve! It’s been over two years since the release of her CYCLE/S EP in 2020, and that time has culminated in boundless artistic and personal growth that’s influenced her newer work.
“I’ve started to trust myself more as a beatmaker, songwriter, vocalist, and person,” Mia shares. “I feel more comfortable in my expressions. Writing all of these songs alone took the pressure off of them sounding any particular way. LOOPY is a free-flowing world of honest words and sounds, and I acknowledge that I’m ever-changing and my expressions cannot be defined by genre or really any limits. I’m just making stuff for fun, for healing, for love, out of boredom, etc.”
You can find “SOCIAL MEDIA” on your favorite streaming services now, and get to know MIA GLADSTONE on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and her official website! Keep reading for more from our conversation with this boundary-pushing artist.
Congrats on your latest single, “SOCIAL MEDIA!” How does it feel to finally share the song with the world?
I’m really happy this song is out!!! It’s been one of my favorites for a while. I started the intro in my basement in New Jersey one night just playing around with weird drum patterns and time signatures. It was a free-flowing process that turned into a full song in a very natural way. It’s really beautiful to watch people receive it and relate to the lyrics, and love the production. It feels great. 🙂
What does the song “SOCIAL MEDIA” mean to you?
This song is my confrontation with social media as an entity. I always find that when I take space from it, I reconnect to real life and gain this ability to be present, instead of passively doing things while sucked into this virtual world. It’s crazy how much of my time I’ve spent staring at
this little screen, convinced that it’s more interesting and stimulating than real life. “SOCIAL MEDIA” is an honest depiction of my experiences with excessively using the internet.
“SOCIAL MEDIA” is a collab with the talented Trent the HOOLiGAN -what was it like to work with Trent on the song?
Trent and I met on SoundCloud when I was 15. We collabed online for years – sending songs back and forth. I’ve laid vocals on a bunch of songs for him, and I always wanted to get a verse from him, but I have this tendency to be very private with my songs and rarely open them up to collaborators. When I decided to make this project, I set an intention of getting my favorite artists to feature on each track. “SOCIAL MEDIA” felt like the perfect song for Trent. His lyricism and flow is always so impressive to me, and I felt that the topic of the song would resonate with him. He sent me back his verse within a day of receiving the song – I was floored. He’s so creative, and I love his presence on it.
You have production credits on “SOCIAL MEDIA,” and the production is a big part of what makes this song so unique! When you’re writing a song, do you typically know what style of production you’ll pair it with or do you figure that out later?
When I produce a song, I pretty much always start with the beat. Very occasionally, I’ll have some words I’ve written in my notebook that I’ll try to pair with whatever beat I’m making. Majority of the time, I’m driven by the beat. When I made “SOCIAL MEDIA,” I was experimenting. I played this chord on a sine wave synth built into Logic as the sampler’s default
sound. I sampled it, and then sampled my voice and added some drums and I liked how it looped in this unexpected way.
I was free flowing with my lyrics, reflecting on the backwards nature of me wearing slippers in the house and then taking them off to walk outside barefoot, “I take my shoes off to walk,” and then I built out the intro from there. In this time, I was reflecting a lot on my use of social media because it was consuming me in this powerful way. I felt like I wasn’t in control or being intentional with my actions, so I was referencing it a lot lyrically, and then this song naturally became about social media. I didn’t have a particular sound in mind for it, and I really never do when I create anything. I just explore whatever I’m feeling and resonating with.
Alongside “SOCIAL MEDIA,” you dropped a stunning music video that merges the physical and digital worlds so well, thanks to its glitch effects and animation! How did you come up with the video concept, and what was it like on set?
I’ve been working with a close friend, William Alan Harris, on all of my visuals for this upcoming project. He’s been an amazing partner in the creation of this world. For “SOCIAL MEDIA,” we wanted to make a simple yet stimulating visualizer to accompany the song. William came to me
with this idea of it being a classic performance shot video, and then we expanded the idea. The intro knocking part was filmed in my garage with my family and I knocking on the door, with a flashlight spotlight. It then cuts to this video of me inside a pink box, which we built in my
There’s a concept throughout the project we’ve been infusing in the videos that is essentially me being trapped inside of a pink box, paired with this character who was once a world-renowned life coach who used positive affirmations. She was deemed too powerful and banished to the pink box dimension where she stays eternally, and her only form of entertainment is watching her old positive affirmations tapes on an old Mac computer. We wanted to further solidify this concept in the visualizer. We then added in videos of processed food labels and pharmaceuticals at Harris Teeter, and B-roll of me hanging out with a pig named Squiggy. The video came together in a very natural way & it was a lot of fun to shoot.
You’re gearing up to release your LOOPY project soon, and we can’t wait to hear it! How do you feel you’ve grown as an artist since releasing your last EP, CYCLE/S, in 2020?
I’ve started to trust myself more as a beatmaker, songwriter, vocalist, and person. I feel more comfortable in my expressions. Writing all of these songs alone took the pressure off of them sounding any particular way. LOOPY is a free-flowing world of honest words and sounds, and I acknowledge that I’m ever-changing and my expressions cannot be defined by genre or really any limits. I’m just making stuff for fun, for healing, for love, out of boredom, etc.
What’s the most exciting part of getting ready for a new project for you?
I really love building community around music and art, especially in terms of this project. I was working on it alone for most of its existence and it’s been so personal. There’s something beautiful about taking something so intensely private and vulnerable, and just releasing it to the world for anyone to consume, judge, love, hate, hear, ignore. It becomes this collective thing and gives me no choice but to embrace change. As someone who tends to be more introverted, it feels like I grow every time I get over the initial shock of sharing it – like I’m confronting my biggest fear of being vulnerable and letting people in!
Which song on LOOPY are you most excited for fans to hear?
All of them. I really advise people to listen to it as a whole because it’s a journey, and the songs are meant to be heard collectively.
We at TREMG love getting to know new artists who haven’t gotten the success or attention they deserve. Who are some of your favorite underrated artists at the moment?
There are so many artists I could name. A few that I’ve been really into lately are Cosmic Collective, Salami Rose Joe Louis, Flanafi, 454, and LIFEOFTHOM.
For anyone who isn’t familiar with your music already, which of your songs would you recommend to them to get a feel for who you are as an artist?
I recommend listening to “Grow.” It’s self-produced – very vibrant sounds and playful vocals, and features lyrics that are very true to my essence.