Exclusive: Aria Wunderland on Her New Single ‘I.J.W.Y.L.’

Aria Wunderland is no stranger to the music scene, and she continues to make a name for herself with each new release. She has received high-profile sync placements on shows like Keeping Up with the Kardashians and Oxygen’s Bad Girls Club while her Spotify streams and YouTube views steadily grow.

She released her new single “I.J.W.Y.L.” on Sept. 18. In an email interview with Showbiz Cheat Sheet, Wunderland discussed “I.J.W.Y.L.” and her evolving music career.

Aria Wunderland
Aria Wunderland | Gramophone Media

Getting to know Aria Wunderland

Showbiz Cheat Sheet: 2020 has been a wild year. With the pandemic, it can sometimes feel like the world is at a standstill while other times it seems like things are happening nonstop. How have you been doing, all things considered? 

Aria Wunderland: Hi, thanks so much for inviting me to do this interview! Yes, it’s true this year has in fact been wild! It was definitely harder for me in the beginning of the pandemic. It’s definitely gotten easier as if I’m somewhat used to this “new normal.” I’ve just been trying to stay in my usual routine of working and releasing music and that has helped me a lot. 

Showbiz Cheat Sheet: I read that you love the musical The Phantom of the Opera, which also happens to be my favorite musical. If you were ever to write your own musical what would it be about? 

Aria Wunderland: Yes I do I’ve seen it like 10 times. The music is amazing. I think given the revolution that we are experiencing I would maybe wanna write a non-fiction musical about the injustices that led to this BLM movement, maybe do some research and base it off of a specific person’s life. 

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A look back at the singer’s career

Showbiz Cheat Sheet: Is there a standout moment in your life where you realized you wanted to pursue a career in music? 

Aria Wunderland: Not necessarily one standout moment, there were several experiences growing up that led me to feel that this was what I needed to be doing. I think right after college I realized I no longer wanted to listen to other people in my life like family or fall into societal pressures of what I should be doing. I moved to LA and there was no looking back! 

Showbiz Cheat Sheet: Looking back, do you have any advice you would give your younger self? 

Aria Wunderland: I would advise her not to care so much about what people think. At the end of the day most people aren’t really thinking about you they’re mostly worried about themselves. I would definitely tell her not to stress the small stuff! 

Showbiz Cheat Sheet: Creatively, how do you think you have evolved as an artist since starting your career?

Aria Wunderland: I feel like I have more freedom to write whatever I want these days… the beginning of my career in pop music was very bubble-gum. I have always leaned more toward an indie sound and there was really no place for me. I found myself often trying to tailor my sound to what was in at the moment. Now I just write what I’m feeling and fortunately the climate has changed and music genres are more fluid. 

Showbiz Cheat Sheet: There is an extra pressure on women in the industry to reinvent themselves with every new single or new album that goes beyond evolving naturally as an artist. How do you maintain your authenticity and keep your signature sound with each new release?

Aria Wunderland: I try to just stay true to myself, at the end of the day fans can sense when you’re not being authentic. And while I don’t necessarily fall into the pressure of reinventing myself I do try to find new sources of inspiration to drive my music into a fresher direction. 

Aria Wunderland’s new single ‘I.J.W.Y.L.’

Showbiz Cheat Sheet: Your new single “I.J.W.Y.L.” is about pushing past materialism and instead finding vulnerability in a relationship. What was your inspiration for the song? 

Aria Wunderland: Yes! This song was inspired by a relationship I was in that started off in this direction. The person courting me perhaps misread what kind of girl I am and tried to buy me with fancy dinners, gifts, and experiences. While it was nice of them I actually felt all of this was clouding me getting to know this person at their core. We later were able to find a great balance after a few conversations that inspired this song. 

Showbiz Cheat Sheet: Do you have a favorite lyric from “I.J.W.Y.L.”?

Aria Wunderland: Wow that’s a hard one. Hmm… I guess I’d say this one: “You’re so afraid of losing me, caught up in the chase.” It summarizes the fact that sometimes we aren’t fully present to what is being formed in the relationship initially as we are just so focused on locking it in. When really we just need to take a deep breath and let things happen organically. 

Showbiz Cheat Sheet: “I.J.W.Y.L.” really challenges the idea that the exciting chase and putting on a front in the beginning of a relationship is what you’re supposed to do. It also alludes to the fact that in order for a relationship to work, both parties have to be willing to be vulnerable. Do you find it easy to bring vulnerability to your music?

Aria Wunderland: Great question… I wouldn’t say it comes easily but I am definitely committed to being as vulnerable and authentic as possible. So while sometimes it makes me uncomfortable I continue to challenge myself to go there. After all, that’s what being an artist is about and my fans rely on me to do this. 

Showbiz Cheat Sheet: What else can fans expect from you this year? 

Aria Wunderland: You can expect more music! I actually just had a baby girl and this whole experience has opened me up in a completely different way. I have so much creativity in me and can’t wait to share what I’ve been working on!