“Billion Dollar Bitch” comes after the TikTok trailblazer’s official signing with Atlantic Records and the success of her song “Psycho,” reaching over 9.7 million global streams. Recently named “Best New Artist” at the inaugural edition of The Sailor Jerry Rolling Stone Australia Awards, Mia Rodriguez creates quirky dark-pop that spans the divide between alternative indie and melodic mainstream styles. Inspired by a wide range of musical approaches, from K-pop to hip-hop, the 18-year-old Sydney-based singer-songwriter-musician began posting inventive videos on TikTok, quickly building a fervent fan following now exceeding two million.
Signed as the first artist to the new City Pop Records label (co-founded by legendary Australian concert promoter Michael Chugg and his business partner Andrew Stone), Rodriguez unveiled her captivating debut single, “Emotion,” in late 2019 alongside an official music video streaming now at YouTube HERE. “Psycho” followed and immediately catapulted Rodriguez to the forefront of Australia’s contemporary pop scene. A third single, “Beautiful & Bittersweet” – like both “Emotion” and “Psycho,” – dropped alongside an official video streaming now at Rodriguez’s popular YouTube channel HERE.
Among the many accolades accrued by Rodriguez in just one short year include being named by Australia’s national radio station as a “triple j Unearthed Feature Artist” as well as a prestigious “Unearthed Artist of the Year” nomination at the Australian Broadcasting Company’s annual J Awards. Rodriguez recently offered a spectacular rendition of Rex Orange County’s “Corduroy Dreams” as part of triple j’s famed “Like A Version” series, streaming HERE; the session also featured a unique live take on “Psycho,” streaming HERE.
And what’s next for this budding musician? A fresh dark pop anthem, “Billion Dollar Bitch,” where the dark pop artist joins forces with Yung Baby Tate in a uniquely crafted hit. Seeped with self-confidence and an infectiously catchy beat, the track all in all blends Mia’s lilting vocals with a series of dance-worthy rhythms while inspiring listeners to be confident in themselves.
Paired with this new release, the music video depicts vivid visuals of Mia performing a series of dance moves, ingesting gold chains, and being operated on as Tate joins the scene to create a harmony of her own in sync with the ever-growing catchy melody. All in all, the visuals offer a richly colorful and picturesque scope of how to push for your desires and be confident while doing it.
The born-and-raised Australian musician said she’s barely left her home location. While that can seem tiresome at times, she shared that there are a lot of memories tied to the city she lives in and it’s much easier to revisit them as she sees fit. We then asked her what her biggest Muse was in her craft, to which she replied:
I could never pinpoint my muse to just one thing, oh man my ADHD wouldn’t allow that haha. I’ve absorbed a lot of my inspiration from a lot of spooky pop culture! Creepy movies (Hi Tim Burton I love you) really do it for me. Kpop is also really fun to listen to and watch, everything is so bright. I’ve always been a very visual person. I enjoy turning visuals into songs. I find it super interesting!
The Tim Burton-esque visuals are oh, so evident in Rodriguez’s work, especially in her latest video. The vivid greens and reds and contrast from the outdoor world to the graphically-ridden hospital scene, her inspirations run heavy with the dark and creepiness all while blending in with the sticky-sweet harmonies. We continued the interview with asking about when she became a musician. She added:
I loved to sing a lot as a kid (ever since I was 8yrs old), and a few of my best friends would sing too. They all wanted to be singers, but I never really thought too much of it because I was too shy at the time. I couldn’t even sing in front of my mom. I got bullied a lot and used singing as more of an escape. Until I started popping off on TikTok and getting a lot of attention. I wanted a long term career, and it’s a lot of work to stay relevant as a social media influencer and it didn’t interest me. I loved singing so I started posting covers and here I am!
Read the rest of our interview below!
- You are rising in the industry as someone who blends between different genres, such as K-Pop, hip hop, pop and more things on the alternative: what are some influences and life experiences that inspired this sound?
I absolutely love anything that gives me goose bumps. Heavy sub bass, meaningful lyrics that hype me up, songs that just make you feel different. I really wanted to incorporate that into Billion Dollar Bitch, I wanted to share the adrenaline! The bass is absolutely booming in that song.
- What got you started in the TikTok world? Tell us about the process behind your content and creation.
I downloaded it when it was called Musical.ly at the time, and the app was really dead. I downloaded it for fun and I didn’t think anyone was on it anymore. And then BAM, 100 followers a week turned into 100 thousand. I didn’t think I was that funny honestly, I was just really bored! But people liked it so I kept going. I’m just so glad I started at the beginning of the whole new TikTok wave. That was such a lucky mistake.
- How has the pandemic affected your creative process as a musician?
Even though it ripped out my chances of performing live and touring, I’m actually pretty grateful for it. It gave me a chance to perform i front of cameras first, where I could just do over and over again until I got it right. It really helped my confidence for the days I actually do start performing live more.
- You are about to release your latest single, “Billion Dollar Bitch.” Could you tell us a bit about the creative process behind it?
I wanted a song the gals and gays could dance to (and everyone else of course, I don’t judge). So I turned up the bass, called myself a Billion Dollar Bitch, and got my bad bitch Yung Baby Tate to rap on the track. The music video is also super weird, I can’t wait for people to see it. Surgeons pulling jewellery out of my stomach can get pretty wild.
- How will this single influence the messages in your music in the future? When people listen to your music, what messages do you want to tell your audience, especially in this upcoming project?
I want to show people that you can achieve anything with confidence. I’ve heard so many people doubting themselves saying “I want to do acting, but I’m scared and I’m not good enough blah blah”. I pushed to get to where I am. I’ve went through bullying, rejection, being extremely shy, my parents separating, abusive relationships, living poor, dealing with panic disorder and undiagnosed ADHD my whole life until now. I want to let everyone know that life is short so act like a Billion Dollar bitch until you feel like one.
Stream the new single, now available on all listening platforms: