Watch Gia Ford perform her dark pop song Sleeping in Your Garden

The London-via-Sheffield songwriter steps into her fantasy world for the Lucent:APEX live sessions series.

For Molly McCormick, the Gia Ford persona is a key to another world. Her 2019 debut mixtape, Poster Boy, was a collection of seductively glossy, 80s-influenced synth pop songs with slick funk rhythms, and her alluring aesthetic has been brought to life by the hyperreal images and videos created by regular collaborator Melony Lemon.

And there’s a dark side to Gia Ford too. This year’s Murder in the Dark EP explored fantasies inspired by camp noir horror films, while the protagonist of her single Sleeping in Your Garden prowls in the shadows, before the song’s muted chords burst into something more unhinged.

Watch Gia Ford perform Sleeping in Your Garden before reading a Q&A below.

Tell us a bit about this song Sleeping in Your Garden. What’s it about?

As soon as I heard the bassline, it instantly gave me a stalker vibe. Obsessive love, where it becomes a bit dangerous. Literally, my vision was someone camping out in someone’s garden without them knowing. And then this kind of twisted love letter, I guess. It eventually ended up being this kind of internal monologue of the person, the stalker, and their creepy obsession with this person.

Your Lucent:APEX session performance is really compelling. Have you had much experience of performing live yet?

I was kind of on the brink of starting my career before the whole pandemic hit, so no I don’t. I did one performance as Gia Ford with all the music I put out, at [London venue] the Shacklewell Arms in February and that was the only one I did. And I was booked for The Great Escape and stuff. So this year was meant to be that for me. It got cut short, but it’s fine, it gives me more time to experiment and practice and stuff. With Sleeping in Your Garden, eventually I’d like it to be this crazy experience where I go a bit wild towards the end. But also the way I performed it for Lucent:APEX was quite cool as well, because it felt reserved in, like, a creepy way.

Who are your biggest style influences?

In terms of musicians, I’d always gravitate towards Bowie and Grace Jones, as some kind of mixture between them, because I’m quite androgynous. I always like to play with that midway point. I also take a lot of inspiration for characters in movies. I’ve always loved the style of Brad Pitt in Fight Club, even though that’s not something I channel directly. Wholeheartedly that that’s just the way he dresses right? A lot of the time when you’re watching movies, you don’t really notice what they’re wearing, but it kind of contributes to the wider character that they are playing. That’s why a lot of the time I wear, like, a business suit or something. It feels out of the ordinary, but it tells the story in a way you can’t quite describe.

Are there any contemporary musicians out there who are giving you inspiration right now?

Yeah, 404 Guild. I met them because we used to be on the same label. I think we write music from a very similar perspective. I don’t think they know it, but I think they’re very cinematic and visual with what they do as well. I’m really inspired by how they manage to come together and create something so cohesive, and so transparent and so emotive, even though it’s quite grimey in a way. I think they’re amazing.

What can you tell us about the track This Town which you’re dropping later this week?

It’s completely different. It’s a very, very sharp turn from Sleeping in Your Garden, and part of that I guess is me wanting to keep everyone on their toes and take people on a journey. It’s almost like a ballad. It’s very classically written, it’s very digestible. It’s a brand new experience for me.

A Lucent Production DOP + Post Production Taz Psaras Editing Taz Psaras, Millie Gray Producers James Craigie, Amelida Celepija, Geri Cela Audio Engineer Dyre Gormsen at LAYLOW Studios Audio Engineer Assistant Henrik Holst Hansen Audio Mix + Master Dyre Gormsen at Eastcote Mastering Drone Operator Barney Clark at Stem Studios Drone Assistant Quincy Music Programming James Craigie Location LAYLOW Special thanks to LAYLOW for the support + allowing us to shoot on their roof

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