Mia Rodriguez comes from Australia by the hand of City Pop and Atlantic Records to give all of us who are geeks, freaks, dorks, outsiders, or wallflowers a space to own our weirdness. In Vanity Teen, we are obsessed with her iconic style, quirky aesthetics, witty lyrics, catchy pop songs, and funny music videos. But what we love the most about her is her openness to talk about mental health and other issues concerning current youth.
Her latest single, Shut Up, is a declaration of not settling down for the worst when you know you can get and deserve better. With the song, a music video directed by Josh Harris was also released and is a funny piece in which Mia shows us how she feels in a retro-trendy world in which Sci-Fi, fantasy, and cosplay are the metaphors for her state of mind. Of course, the TikTok dances went viral with the choreography; however, most people can’t help but celebrate that Mia Rodriguez understands them all with this bop.
For such reasons, if you are one of those who embrace being different, Mia Rodriguez is for you. So, I invite you to read what she said in this conversation we had for the SS22 print issue of Vanity Teen.
Know your worth!
VT: What can you tell us about you and your journey in music so far?
MR: It’s been a ride, that’s for sure! It’s always constant, and I feel so lucky to be in the position I’m in now and never take it for granted.
VT: As you have said on different opportunities, music has helped you to overcome being bullied while you were younger. What else would you like to share about this aspect of your life?
MR: I think it’s just important to never let anyone bring you down, stick up for yourself and know your worth!
VT: What else do you do to preserve your mental health?
MR: Creating music helps a lot, arts and crafts; having good people around you is really crucial too.
It’s so fun!
VT: Let us talk about your music. I love that your songs and videos are funny, but they also depict intense issues which most teenagers identify with. So, how is your creative process?
MR: It’s really just taking all these crazy ideas I have to my team and putting it all into one big concept!
I take a lot of inspo from K-Pop and DC movies, so this really helps spark any ideas and character development in some of my music videos!
VT: Your latest single, Shut Up, is out now, and once more, it’s a witty pleasure. Therefore, what is the story behind the song?
MR: The song itself is about being bored and lonely in this sick, sad world but knowing you have yourself at the end of the day and you’re good with this!
I love that it’s so different from any other release so far. It’s so fun!
VT: Yes, Shut Up’s music video is so much fun. What was it like to film it and work with the team, actors, and dancers?
MR: It’s incredible having a huge team that can bring your idea to life. Everyone is so fun to work with and incredibly hard-working!
Own your weirdness
VT: What are you planning for the future? Will we see you live soon?
MR: Well, I have very exciting travel approaching which I cannot contain my excitement about. And as for touring, I sure hope so; it’s been so long, I can’t wait to get out on that stage again!
VT: Social media could be a dangerous zone, but at the same time, it has been a place for you to feel the love of millions of fans around the world. So, how do you balance your day-to-day and social media?
MR: I try to always be in the moment and not think about social media too much; however, it’s a little hard when that element comes with your career, and it’s an opportunity to communicate with your fans.
It’s just super important to disconnect yourself from any hate or negativity when it comes to social media, but there’s also so much love and support, which for me, overshadows the bad!
VT: Which message would you like to share with those who might be facing difficult times just for being who they are and expressing themselves differently?
MR: Stay true to yourself, own your weirdness, and never let anyone tell you otherwise!
VT: Anything else you would like to share with Vanity Teen?
MR: Thank you for having me! And stay tuned for some exciting new music from me!
…And that works for me
The world was such a different place before social media let us know great artists all over the globe. Thanks to these ways of the interconnection of the 21st century, we can get along with others who like the same things we do or look at some content someone posts and listen to songs that allow us to discover a singer like Mia Rodriguez.
Mia Rodriguez knows she is not perfect and does not expect anyone to be but to own, celebrate, and share our weirdness. Every time I hear her music or watch her videos, a smile comes to my face, no matter how my mood is at that moment. That effect she has on me, I am pretty sure she also has it in most of you, and that reminds me of a quote from the book The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky:
«And all the books you’ve read have been read by other people. And all the songs you’ve loved have been heard by other people. And that girl that’s pretty to you is pretty to other people. And that if you looked at these facts when you were happy, you would feel great because you are describing ‘unity.’» (Chbosky, 2010).
Can you see it? Even when we think we are too different to fit, we are not alone, and music can unify us. So, if you also feel like Mia Rodriguez gets you, welcome to the club, but if you are getting to know her now, our doors are open for every person who senses that a place that cherishes that cherishes weirdness is where they belong.
Remember, as she sings in Shut Up, we should know that none of us is a masterpiece but a work in process. So, if happiness is something as simple as knowing that there are people who can love and accept you the way you are, that works for me.
I hope that works for you too.