Meet Pia Mia Perez. She’s cute as could be, got a voice to rival any pop star, and, get this, is really, actually from Guam. Seriously. She did double-duty for us and recorded an original video cover of Rihanna’s “Half Of Me,” then humored us by answering our questions on everything from how to beat the heat this festival season to what quote keeps her motivated so very far from home.
Who are your can’t-miss artists for festival season this year?
The XX. A very close friend of mine introduced me to them and I immediately fell in love. I’ll never forget the night that he drove me home and played “Angels” for me. They make all the emotions you’ve been wanting and needing to express pour out of you in a sort of silent way.
Any tricks for the best way to beat the festival heat?
I’m an island girl, so I’m no stranger to battling hot weather! It’s all about keeping hydrated, wearing sunblock and a hat (my #1 accessory right now), wearing light colored, lightweight clothing. It never hurts to bring two bottles of water: one to drink and another to pour on your body if all else fails!
How will you stand out sartorially from the ubiquitous sea of fringe and triangle tops?
For me it’s not about standing out as much as it is about what makes me feel the most confident. I’m the type of person whose day can be made just because I love the outfit I’m wearing. Coachella is the place to go all out and let your personality shine through fashion!
Of all the dozens of artists playing this year, whose trailer would you most want to hang out in pre- and post-set?
Pre-set I’d definitely be in The XX’s trailer. I would want to see how they prepare to inspire their audience. Post-set I’d want to be in 2 Chainz trailer. At this point in the game, I’d want to see how you get down and really party! Seriously though, I feel like there’d be a lot of interesting people at this one.
We took a stroll through your super-cute Tumblr and noticed a lot of inspiring quotes. Do you have a personal philosophy or phrase that keeps you motivated everyday?
“Wake up and plan to be a hero” is my personal favorite. I wrote it during a difficult time in my life when I had to decide whether I was going to stay in Hollywood and fight for my dream or go back home to Guam. This small statement inspired me to keep doing what I was doing, to keep fighting.
OK, we need some tips: What’s the key to taking the perfect selfie?
I’ve always been very shy and a selfie is all about attitude and confidence! The more you take them, the more comfortable you become and it seems less and less self-absorbing. The problem with selfies is that cameras don’t lie—everything you’re feeling shows up in the picture, as if someone were reading your private journal.
What’s next for Pia Mia?
I’m in the studio every week night and working on a lot of different stuff, both solos and duets. There are a lot of possibilities up in the air right now: EP, album, touring. It’s really happening, but right now it’s still about working hard every day, staying focused, not sweating the small stuff, surrounding myself with people that love and believe in me, and taking one day at a time.