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Canadian alternative pop artist Tiya released their third single, “I WISH U DIDN'T EXIST"

Canadian alternative pop artist Tiya (She/They) has released their third single, “I WISH U DIDN'T EXIST,” now available everywhere. The song is Tiya’s boldest release yet, with a modern sound fusing electronic, pop, and rock elements. The track’s self-assured lyrics and dynamic vocals, reminiscent of Rihanna and Anne Marie, are a must-hear and a hard left from the reserved beauty characterizing Tiya’s previous releases, as effective as it is unexpected.

As for the new sonic direction, Tiya reflects, “My heart had been feeling very loud, and the only way to express it was through the powerful melody of an electric guitar.” Fans of Tiya might be surprised to hear her signature heartfelt piano from “Hydrogen Peroxide” and “Chamomile Tea” traded for driving electric guitars and rumbling bass synths, but the sound on “Wish U Didn’t Exist” is still one that’s all their own. With help from her frequent collaborator, producer Alex Flagstad (Ashton Irwin, UPSAHL, Morgan St. Jean), Tiya borrows the raised-fist ethos of Alanis Morissette while channeling the bare-bones honesty of more pop-leaning influences, like Julia Michaels. “I dare you to play with my heart,” she sings with precision through gritted teeth in the opening line, a warning call to anyone who dares to cross her path. The opening guitar riff builds into EDM drop-ready arpeggios and brooding synth swells, elevating the pre-chorus before Tiya belts the title lyric over an explosive dancehall beat. “I wish you didn’t exist / I wish we never had met.” Tiya’s crystalline belt is measured and clear, but teeters on the edge of a total loss of control, while a riveting guitar line gyrates underneath.

Photo credit: @theportraitsessions

The programmed drums, slick guitars, countermelodies and layered vocal harmonies are as integral to the world Tiya creates through her music as her artistic mission: opening up about struggles with mental health so others feel less alone in theirs. It’s a torch she’s willingly carried ever since the release of her debut single, “Chamomile Tea,” from which Tiya’s donating the proceeds to the mental health nonprofit Anxiety Canada. The positive response Tiya received on the single only motivated them to continue sharing those most personal parts of themself through music. “I Wish U Didn’t Exist” represents a different chapter in the same story, the subject of which might surprise listeners.

“The song talks about trying to escape from someone, but no matter how hard I try or how many times I lock them out, they always find their way back. That someone is me,” Tiya explains of the song’s message. It’s one she says she only truly discovered through the process of writing the song. “There are moments when I want to get away from myself, from the pain I inflict on myself emotionally when I engage in negative self-talk.” But there’s another twist: For Tiya, “I Wish U Didn’t Exist” is a positivity anthem. “It’s about wanting to stop idealizing a ‘perfect’ version of myself that doesn’t exist. It’s unattainable. I want to feel like I am enough as I am, and encourage others to feel the same.”

The contrast between heavy lyrical themes and upbeat production is no accident. In a way, it perfectly encapsulates Tiya whose chosen remedy, for moments when her mental health weighs heavy, is her music. But like all of their releases to date, this song is far more than a coping mechanism-- it’s a gift to listeners, too. “I want to be there to help people dance it all out,” Tiya says. “If we’re gonna be sad, we may as well have some fun while we’re at it!”

Stream "I WISH U DIDN'T EXIST" on Spotify:

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