The pop star on Thursday night (June 20) dropped “Crybaby,” a bright and breezy summer single featuring rapper Theron Theron. The song — produced by The Futuristics (Camila Cabello, Halsey) — serves as an upbeat exploration of Pia’s reputation, along with her different sides as an artist.
With crystal clear vocals, the 22-year-old sings, “They say I’m perfect, I think I’m not / They say I’m gangster, they say I’m pop / They say I’m trying to be something I’m not / One thing I know is they sure say a lot.” She later belts, “I’m just misunderstood / I’m just out here doing the best that I could.”
With an affinity for multiple music genres, Pia has crafted every kind of track — from R&B-infused club bangers like 2015’s “Do It Again” all the way to “Bitter Love,” the dreamy ballad she released this spring as the official anthem for After, in which she made her feature film debut. Adding to her eclectic discography, “Crybaby” itself is an island-tinged earworm inspired by Pia’s upbringing on Guam.
Below, Pia chats with Billboard about crafting “Crybaby,” which marks her latest release as an independent artist since leaving Interscope Records in late 2017.
Billboard: Why did “Crybaby” feel like the perfect follow-up to “Bitter Love”?
Pia Mia: “Crybaby” is a continuation of my journey in life both personally and as a musician. It’s finally starting to feel like summer and it’s the perfect song to play driving in your car, getting ready for a night out or just hanging out on the weekend with friends. It makes you feel good.
How would you describe your collaborative process with The Futuristics?
I wrote this song with Theron and we had light production on it. Once I cut it, I knew where I wanted the production to go, so we sent it out to a few different people to mess around with. When we got the different production versions back, The Futuristics version connected with me the most!
Why was it imperative to feature Theron Theron on this song?
When we originally wrote this song, Theron had a verse on it and I loved the island feel he added to “Crybaby.” I’m from Guam and he’s from St. Thomas, so it was a natural fit.
What is the overall message of “Crybaby?”
For me, it’s that we all live in a judgmental society and the bottom line is that we’re all the same, but I also want to leave “Crybaby’s” message open to interpretation for the listeners. I’m looking forward to seeing how everyone relates to it.
Stream “Crybaby” below.