“We working hard. We don’t rest.” PANIA shares her secrets to success on JUICE wit Nazty Gurl
November 25th 2022
PANIA is an R&B artist from West Melbourne who is well and truly on the rise. She’s been releasing music since 2018, but her career as an artist started moving at blistering pace just over two years ago. In 2022 alone, PANIA was a part of Converse’s All Stars program, released her debut EP burnt ur clothes & changed the addy, and had two of her tracks featured in Netflix’s Heartbreak High series. This upward trajectory will continue into the new year – she’s picked up supporting duties for GRAMMY nominated artist Kehlani’s Melbourne show. PANIA stopped by the FBi studios to chat about her new EP, sold out shows, creative process and dream collaborations on JUICE with Nazty Gurl.
PANIA launched her EP here in Sydney to a sold out crowd on the Golden Stage at Golden Age Cinema and Bar. She was supported by 2022 FBi SMAC Award winner for Next Big Thing Vv Pete. The show came after an equally packed out hometown gig in Melbourne.
“I feel good. I feel really overwhelmed with love, even just seeing whole rooms full of people that I don’t even know singing words is so crazy to me. I didn’t even know I had love like that.”
burnt your clothes & changed the addy is a cohesive release that mixes pop sensibilities with both club and drill production. It’s a collection of songs that Naz describes as “a no skips body of work.” PANIA managed to bring the whole EP to life at her first headline shows with the help of a live band/s:
“I had a different band for Sydney and Melbourne, so literally one rehearsal and then the show… They pulled it together, crazy. I don’t even know how.”
“I think that live band element really brought out the emotions in the tracks… It’s gonna be hard to ever not have a band with me, that was really beautiful.”
There are two key elements driving PANIA’s creative process: the influence of the music she’s listening to at the time, and Melbourne-based producer HAMLEY.
“Me and HAMLEY were just making music since we met… We just had so many songs. The tracks in particular fit so nicely into an EP. It cohesively just fit. I wrote them all around the same time.”
“Usually he’ll just make a beat and I’ll just start freestyling over it and I’ll be like ‘yo, turn the mic on, it’s time’. I’ll have some written and some not written and record for a minute and then structure it from there.”
The music we listen to sometimes becomes tied to our memories. When we hear some songs, we look back at those certain moments. For PANIA, the music she listens to at different moments in her musical journey also point forwards. The songs she’s listening to tend to define the way she approaches each new release.
“With the EP I was listening to so much drill, so much UK music. It was during lockdown when drill was kinda popping. M1llionz and Headie One were popping off. I was like ‘yo I want to sing over a drill beat’.”
“We just started doing that sound progressively… even for ‘Tiki’ I wanted to make something for the clubs, I was listening to a lot of Wiz Kid at the time. That’s kind of how we work. I’ll be like ‘look at this’ and then he’ll make something similar.”
Naz highlighted that PANIA’s visuals live go hand in hand with her music, and asked what the inspiration behind this was.
“Visually I’ve always been into artists like Aaliyah, like P!nk. All the kind of late 90s, early 2000s artists. It was kind of like everything, they were the whole package. The fashion, the videos, the photos… I like to take that and put it into my creative process.”
This is exemplified through her music video for track ‘My Crew’, which Naz said “looked like an actual movie.”
PANIA’s rise in the music world these past few years has been nothing short of meteoric. Naz asked her for the pearls of wisdom she would give fellow artists emerging in the scene:
“We put so much time, we put our whole heart and soul into it. Back yourself so heavy, we need to, otherwise no one will care.”
“I don’t sleep… we working hard. We don’t rest.”
Want to hear more from PANIA? Listen back to her full chat with Naz up top, or stream her latest EP burnt your clothes & changed the addy below.