Photo Credit: Via instagram @Miagiovina
Mia Giovina is a New Jersey based singer/songwriter who got her start on TikTok posting rewrites. After going viral on TikTok for rewriting popular songs, Mia released her first single in 2021, “Sirens,” followed by “Time Machine.”
Molly: When did you learn you could write music? When did you start singing, playing guitar, all of that fun stuff?
Mia: Singing happened a lot earlier than the rest of it. I’ve been singing since I could talk, those two things kind of happened at the same time. Then, I sang all throughout elementary school, I did the talent show and everything. Once I got to middle school, I did musical theater. Through High school I — you know, it was kind of on and off. I really tried to play guitar and I really tried to write music but I, unfortunately, am the type of person where, if I’m not immediately good at something I’m like, well, it’s not for me, let’s move on to the next thing. So I wasn’t immediately good at guitar and song writing so then I was like, I guess it’s not meant for me, I kind of gave up on that. But then, I think the first full song that I wrote was the year after I graduated high school. I think it was called “Hand Print.” It was for my best friend after we graduated. It was this super dramatic like handprint on my heart kind of thing. That was the first full song I wrote and then I kind of stepped away from songwriting for a little bit. Then, when the whole pandemic thing happened and quarantine happened, that’s when I really started focusing on songwriting, piano, guitar and everything. I think that once I was forced to stay home and I had nothing else to do, that was when I really put all my focus on kind of just like my musicianship as a whole.
Molly: When did you start writing songs for TikTok and what was your first viral video that you remember?
Mia: I think that also started a few months into quarantine. I had started messing around with logic pro on my computer and I think at first I was just doing little covers that I would post on Instagram. Then I saw another girl posted a rewrite of, I think it was “Sweet Creature” by Harry Styles. I saw it and I was like, “Oh my god that’s so cool I’ve never seen anybody do that.” So I rewrote one of Harry’s songs. She started that inspiration. It was also in the beginning of quarantine was when I kinda like, I was a late bloomer with One Direction, that was when I first discovered all of their music and so I was already in that phase. Then, doing the rewrites, it just naturally happened that my rewrites were Harry Styles and One Direction songs. Then that kind of got me the audience I have.
Molly: So “Sirens,” that was one of your biggest viral TikToks. It was an unfinished song that became your first single. What motivated you to actually finish and release it as your first single?
Mia: So when I posted “Sirens” the first time, I was really just doing rewrites and those were the things that did pretty well on TikTok. If I ever tried to post a snippet of an original song, It never really went anywhere. Naturally you get discouraged when a video doesn’t get a lot of traction, especially when it’s something like an original that’s so personal to you. But then, for some reason “Sirens” just kind of blew up, and at the time I had really been wanting to release an original song, but I didn’t want to release a song just to release a song. I wanted to release it because it felt right and the timing felt right and because I was really proud of it. When I posted “Sirens,” it just felt so special and then to see so many people resonating with it, I was like, “Ok that was kind of just like my confirmation. This is the song. This is the right time.” It actually took me a little bit to finish it. I started writing it and posted the TikTok in December and the song wasn’t fully finished until like almost February. So it was a pretty long process but in the end it felt very worth it.
Molly: I know everytime it comes on in my car and it’s like, “I don’t hate Jersey, It’s just not good for me,” I’m like, *screams* I’ve been feeling this for so long and didn’t have the words to say it. Who has been your biggest inspiration in your writing process as a whole?
Mia: I would have to say Taylor Swift has been my biggest inspiration. I think the way that she writes her songs is so smart and so intentional. I think that is something that I have really worked on and tried to do with my lyrics [to] make sure there’s no filler words. But Phoebe Bridgers also changed the way that I write music. Before I started listening to music like Phoebe’s I kind of was like the only thing that can be successful is pop music, and then I started listening to Phoebe’s music and I was like I love this, and other people love this, I can write music like this that’s so personal and so detailed and like specific but still so relatable.
Mia has and continues to perform both locally and in New York City and has been enjoying it saying, “It has been so much fun. Especially now that I have my own original music, that has just added a cool new element to playing live.” She recently visited LA, where she was focusing on songwriting and looks forward to releasing new music soon! Follow Mia on Instagram @Miagiovina and TikTok @badgirlmiimii.
Molly McShane is a fourth year media and culture major with a minor in journalism firstname.lastname@example.org