Despite being in the infant stages of her career, Pania’s vision has always been global. Raised in the cultural melting pot of West Melbourne, the singer took inspiration from her surroudings, fusing it with the fiery desire to achieve bigger and better things. “Growing up surrounded by industrial areas in the West, we were infatuated by the idea of making it out,” she says. “I’ve always just seen more for myself.” In high school, Pania took after her friends and began singing – always in private, because she was too shy for an audience. “It wasn’t until I dropped a demo on SoundCloud that local producers hit me up to work,” she says. “I met a lot of the underground West Melbourne scene through them, and built from that.”
Soon after, Pania realised that her lyrics were connecting with fans on a deeper level, and she knew that she had found her calling. “My music is how I feel when I’m most vulnerable, it’s like a diary to me,” she says. “All the toxic thoughts, the vulnerable ones, the simp nights, the things we all feel but sometimes might be afraid to say.” And while her music is intensely personal, she adds a three-dimensional nature to her songwriting by viewing past situations through a different lens. “Sometimes I like to write from the perspective of someone I’ve been with, or someone I’ve hurt in the past,” she says. “In a weird way, it helps me find clarity.” What results is an intimate journey through Pania’s world, where song is used to explore every corner and crevice, no matter how vulnerable.
Having reinterpreted songs by Usher and Drake, it’s clear how these legends have influenced Pania: She takes leads from the romantic nostalgia of 2000s R&B, and the late-night, lonely soundscapes favoured by OVO producers; melding them into her own fresh, soul-stirring sound. “I want you to put my songs on knowing that you’re gonna feel like the baddest in the room,” she says. “But also when it’s 3:00am and you’re coming down from the club, I got something for that too. I want to cater for every emotion and setting.” She released her debut single ‘Icyy’ in 2020, a magnetic slow-burner that earned widespread praise from Acclaim Magazine, Purple Sneakers and AUD$. Soon after, Pania led an adidas Originals campaign focusing on West Melbourne’s buzzing creative community, also following up her debut with sophomore single ‘Icyy Pt. 2’ featuring Keziah.
Come 2022, Pania is gearing up for the release of her first EP, crafted with homegrown producer Hamley. In the months and years to follow, she’s looking to step things up significantly. “My music could be heard and translated anywhere in the world, I just happen to be from Australia,” she says. “My expression has no limits.”