Born Olivia Pierce, rising music artist PI3RCE describes her music as “angsty-girly pop”. Based in music city Nashville and glitzy LA, this young talent is ready to make you tap your feet to the beat while thinking about the effects social media has on society.
Pretty on the outside, but full of insight and heart on the inside, PI3RCE is a pop star on a mission: to open conversations on technology and mental health.
“Famous”, PI3RCE’s first single off her upcoming EP, is a perfect pop song with pretty vocals, a vibey beat, and it makes you want to put a mean girl at school in her place. “The theme is everyone’s ego is inflated by social media,” says PI3RCE.
Sticking with that fame theme, PI3RCE will soon be releasing the second single “Like Kylie”, a bubblegum pop song twinged with country. Pi3rce satirically sings about being like Kylie Jenner. “It’s just about that American dream of rising through the ranks and using social media as a tool to do that,” The pink-haired singer reveals.
Also on the upcoming 2020 EP will be the track “Influencer”, which PI3RCE says is her most “controversial and honest” song. “It’s like we’re going full speed ahead into this thing that has never existed,” says PI3RCE regarding the hype around social influencers. “But I don’t think we’re prepared to understand what it will lead to and we’re not even really trying to understand.”
Recently, I talked with PI3RCE about her music and style. We went deep on her thoughts about depression, anxiety, and technology. Check it out and follow PI3RCE on social media to get updates about her EP set to be released in early 2020.
What message are you really hoping to convey with your music?
We will be releasing this EP about social media and how it is affecting myself and the world around me. I wanted to create these songs that were both very poppy, very vibey … You could just tune out to and have a great time and dance around, but also had an undercurrent of meaning within them. The album focuses on influencer culture and how that’s affected society. The biggest goal of most young people is to be an Instagram influencer these days. That seems to be the people who hold the power and rule the world.
I want to talk about your fashion sense because I know you’re big into fashion and make-up. How do you describe your style?
I’m basically a goth princess. I’m a punk princess. I just am extremely polar in my personality.
I’m very dark and that makes me satirical and that satire I take and put it on the most feminine and bubbly and innocent thing that I can think of which is a kind of Barbie esthetic and a lot of inspiration from the early 2000s fashion … and kind of the girls that I used to just have a disdain for and I kind of pushed aside because I felt like I wasn’t welcome in their circles, like the princesses, and the Barbies, and the “it” girls.
So now I love embracing that as this empowered woman looking back at the things as a little girl I always thought were unattainable and then now saying, you know what? I am a boss bitch so I can wear that, I can do that, I can be who I want to be. I can be super pink. I can be outrageous and just kind of embracing everything that I thought I couldn’t have before. That’s what a lot of girls have done recently.
I’m seeing this whole pastel goth movement. It’s really these young women embracing who they were outcasted by as young girls. That to me is just so amazing and empowering. It’s like we’re retaking the femininity we never thought we had and just embracing it full force. So that’s pretty much what I’ve done.
Being able to incorporate my gothic side with this love for princesses and ponies and like Power Puff Girls that I secretly always had, but was never confident enough to embrace. Now, I have this satirical back and forth between the two, of like almost making fun of the uber girliness of the world, but also embracing it as an empowered woman.
Yeah, I think that’s awesome! Initially, you got into music because of a brain injury you suffered during dancing. Tell us about that.
I’ve been writing since I was 13 and I was actually working professionally by 15 as a writer in LA. I got a serious brain injury at 16 and I was forced to stay in a dark room for long periods of time and I couldn’t look at any screens. I couldn’t go outside, like physically couldn’t. It’s not like someone told me not to, I physically could not leave my room or I’d have panic attacks, I’d pass out … I was very fragile at the time and your brain retreats into very primal stages where everything is fight or flight and everything is just reacting to sensory surroundings.
I still have a little bit of this when I go to places where it’s bright, strobing lights and very loud, I relapse a little bit and I can’t handle it. It’s just one minute you’re fine and the next you’re hyperventilating and crying and you’ve no idea why you can’t stay, you have to leave.
It was so intense at the time. I couldn’t be a person at all and it really shattered me because I’ve always been very insecure about my place in the world. I’ve always felt kind of weak and lesser and I get sick a lot. I’ve had a very weak immune system. So I felt like I wasn’t very strong to start with and then this happened and I couldn’t do anything at all.
It was a terrible isolated time where my brain physically did not work right at all. They rewired my brain for a year to make me read and write and speak to people and walk outside and so that was really intense. They did it though so thank you to the clinic I went to.
I had so much anxiety and depression, I just sat in my room and wrote really incredible songs to cope with it and I say they’re incredible because it wasn’t really me doing it. I’m not giving myself praise. It’s like looking back at something else that wasn’t you that did all of these things and had this experience and so now I’m such a different and stronger person that I would not be without that experience and I’m very grateful for what it did for me and now I refuse to be weak.
I train myself 2 hours a day in the gym. I’m taking martial arts classes. I’m doing anything that I want that scares me. I’m pursuing my dream. I’m just embracing every challenge that I can find because that’s what makes me stronger so that I won’t ever feel weak and vulnerable again.
But that period was so great for my art because it was so dark, I found so much light and so much continuity between humanity because pain is really what connects us. We all suffer. Life is suffering and I found so many wonderful psychologists online who were able to help me understand what I was going through. It’s what we all go through.
We all suffer. We all go through terrible things. That’s the only thing that’s guaranteed in life and to me, that was such an uplifting message. It’s a dark message, but if you’re in a dark place, it’s so uplifting that this is going to happen. That’s what life is and you’re going to get through it because you are strong. That was an incredible message that I was able to find so much healing through pain and to find the music through the darkness.
What would you like to say to your fans and future fans?
I have always felt alone and isolated in my life and I’ve never felt like I fit in anywhere which is exactly why I think I’ve been successful as an artist is because not fitting in makes you a leader, it makes you stand out, and makes you forge your own path in the world.
I want people who feel that way to come to me to talk to me about it, to have a friend in me no matter if I get really popular or anything. I will always try to read everyone’s messages and respond and see who I can reach out to and take care of because no one is going through this alone even though it feels like it.
That’s the one thing about social media that I love is that you can see so many people who are like you that you’ll never feel alone again and you’ll never feel weird and crazy and outcasted in your own bubble. You’re the only one like that, but in the world we’re all connected and so I definitely want people to be able to reach out to me and talk about it. Also, my biggest message for everyone is to fail hard and fail fast and don’t be afraid of failing because that is the only way you succeed at anything at all is if you fail over and over and over until you reach the final success.
Listen to “Famous” on Spotify!
Sandy Lo is an author, blogger, journalist, and digital strategist. Her personal story is inspiring. Sandy started StarShine Magazine, an online publication in 2001, at the age of 18. She wrote her first novel in 2009, “Lost In You,” followed by the “Dream Catchers” Series. She was the first person ever to professionally interview Taylor Swift and has received personal endorsements for her books from members of boy bands Backstreet Boys and 98 Degrees.