NZ singer Theia's creativity not stopped by lockdown

Kiwi musician Theia is continuing to find creative outlets as COVID-19 continues to disrupt the more traditional patterns of making and promoting music.

Just like all of us, 2020 hasn't exactly gone as Theia might have planned. But she's rolled with it. While many musicians have postponed new music during the pandemic, she's been working harder than ever. Now she's released new mixtape 99% Angel.

"I kinda felt like it's almost the perfect time to release music because everyone is just at home needing things to up their spirits," she told Newshub.

99% Angel is her first release as an independent artist. Not being on a label has given her the freedom to split the mixtape between radio-friendly bangers and her more experimental side.

"I feel like I've gotten everything I'd always hoped I'd be able to do, which is straddle both worlds," Theia says.

The mixtape's backed up by new single 'Celebrity' - a burn at people who aspire to be famous but lose themselves along the way.

"The idea of fame and being held to a certain ideal is definitely not something I'm into, but I realise that we as society, and if you're part of the arts kind of perpetuate that as well, so it's definitely a dichotomy for me," she explains.

The song's video was a race against time, as filming location Los Angeles started to go into lockdown.

The video ended up being shot in just two days, but Theia says it's her favourite she's ever done.

"It was like a huge shock when I first saw myself but then I was like 'yeah, I feel this, I like it!' It's like taking on a different version of myself," she says.

Theia had planned to promote the release with an Australian tour. Instead the Sydney-based musician has been stuck in an Auckland apartment after flying back from LA.

But that's not stopped her from drawing a crowd. Each weekend she plays to up to 300 people over video app Zoom - and is collaborating with artists from all over the world.

"If I'm not doing something to act as a creative outlet then I do struggle a lot mentally, so I really wanted to just throw myself into all the opportunities," she says.

Zoom isn't the only new tech Theia's turning to her advantage: after seeing people dance to her song 'Frat Boyz' on TikTok, she decided to use them for the song's video, after Covid derailed her original concept.

"It was kind of really special and a cool opportunity to make some kind of visualiser, and something I maybe wouldn't have normally done."

So if you feel like being in the crowd for her next show, keep an eye on her social media. You won't even have to leave your couch.