From the opening seconds of Teddi Gold’s “Pineapple Piñata,” you know you’re about to watch some magic unfold. In the video, premiering here on HollywoodLife, Teddi descends on a sleepy, dusty desert town like a DayGlo angel sent from the best part of Heaven. With just a pair of fur coats and a shimmy, Teddi convinces the locals to abandon their dusty, monochromatic world for one that is bursting with love and joy (and a little weirdness because it wouldn’t be fun without a touch of the odd.)
“The whole idea for that song was that you can create joy anywhere,” Teddi says in an EXCLUSIVE interview for HollywoodLife. “You can live authentically, and happiness comes from the internal, not the external. So, I wanted the world in this video to feel dystopian and futuristic. Set in an abandoned place, three people find each other, find connection, and through that newfound friendship, they find joy. You don’t need anything outside of yourself to find it.”
“Pineapple Piñata” exemplifies why Teddi Gold is going to be your next favorite artist. Her charisma shines brighter than the pink PVC dress she wears in the video, and one can’t help but dance along to the track, even if your feet don’t feel like moving. “The idea for the song was that you have a friend who is going through some heaviness,” she shares. “Their head is ‘spinning in a blender.’ So you drive to their house to pick them up, and you take them out dancing. For those hours out dancing, and in this short song, you get to let go of the heaviness. You ‘leave it on the dance floor.’ It’s hard to stay sad when you are jumping up and down to a dance song.”
It’s also hard not to fall in love with Teddi Gold’s music, which is good because she’s releasing a new EP – Vol. 2 — on October 7th. In the EXCLUSIVE interview for HollywoodLife, she talks about this project, the work she put into the video, and more!
HollywoodLife: You describe your music as “organized chaos,” when did “Pineapple Piñata” feel finished to you?
Teddi Gold: I could work endlessly on a song. It’s a fine balance between over-doing something and not doing enough. It seems so corny to say, but I usually just know when it’s done. It’s a feeling that’s hard to put into words. Once I’m at the stage where I’m just making small changes, at some point (usually after I drive my producer crazy), I just have to tell myself it’s done. This song went through a lot of changes. In fact, I tweaked the mix just a few months before the release date because my producer and I felt it could be freshened up since it had technically been finished over a year ago.
The song’s message of finding internal joy and extending it outward is special, how did this come about, and what was the process of crafting it like?
I wrote this song with my friends Shay and Garen, and my friend Jon produced it. I love that I get to work with my friends because I am never nervous to share ideas with them. I’ve never been shy about the fact that I’ve been in therapy for a lot of years and that I have had my fair share of depression and anxiety, as many people have. It’s hard to be human sometimes. But I will say, that as I continue to work on myself, I continue to find peace and real happiness as a process. A grounded-ness. It comes from an internal place. It’s something that I want to share with people, and I want to encourage others that they can also do it. I knew I wanted the song to be a dance song. You can move and channel energy through dance. The idea for the song was that you have a friend who is going through some heaviness. Their head is “spinning in a blender.” So you drive to their house to pick them up, and you take them out dancing. For those hours out dancing, and in this short song, you get to let go of the heaviness. You “leave it on the dance floor.” It’s hard to stay sad when you are jumping up and down to a dance song. You can shake it out even if it’s temporary. Movement and dance are powerful.
Are there any artists/songs that directly inspired the sound of “Pineapple Piñata”?
Yes! Lady Gaga and 100 Gecs!
“Pineapple Piñata” is an upbeat and uplifting dance track. Why did you choose a barren desert for the setting of the video?
The whole idea for that song was that you can create joy anywhere. You can live authentically, and happiness comes from the internal, not the external. So I wanted the world in this video to feel dystopian and futuristic. Set in an abandoned place, three people find each other, find connection, and through that newfound friendship, they find joy. You don’t need anything outside of yourself to find it. We shot the music video out in Bombay Beach. It’s a very interesting place – I encourage everyone to look it up. It used to be this booming vacation town on the Salton Sea, that is now a forgotten town filled with artists and locals. My directors, Lio and Dulcinee, were amazing. We had an initial call about the song and the visuals, they sent me a pitch for the video, and I knew immediately I wanted to work with them. They understood exactly what I wanted to do and brought their own beautiful creative visions to it as well. The whole cast and crew were just lovely, and I am really proud of what we did.
The video has very unique and exciting visuals, are there new things you’re eager to experiment with when it comes to your videos?
Yes. I’m a visual person. Even when I write music, I think about it visually. I used to be an actress, so I have a deep appreciation for filmmaking too.
Coming off of “Pineapple Piñata,” what can we expect to hear in your new EP, Vol. 2? What kind of new life experiences and lessons will we hear about? Are there through lines from Vol. 1?
You will hear about wanting to have fun for the summer, you will hear about leaving your problems on the dance floor, you will hear about how love transcends materialism, you will hear about wanting to be a good friend, you will hear me encouraging you to follow your own dreams, and you will hear about not letting the haters bring you down. I think the through-line from Vol. 1 to Vol. 2 is self-love, kindness, and a desire for real connection and intimacy.
How has your life changed in light of the pandemic?
I’m amazed at how much my life has changed. I had some hardships and difficulties, and I had some amazing opportunities present themselves as well. It seemed to be the year of duality for me. On the one hand, I went through a break-up and through a major move, but on the other hand, I had a lot of success in the sync world, and I signed with Casual Records. While certain elements were very difficult, I have a lot of gratitude in my heart, and I feel very blessed to do what I do.
What are some of your favorite sounds that you’ve incorporated into your music? Any new ones that you’re excited for us to hear?
On the bridge in “Pineapple Piñata,” we smashed real piñatas and recorded it. So a lot of the sounds you hear on the bridge are from us hitting them. I went out to Party City and bought a few piñatas, filled them up with candy, and we all took turns being blindfolded and hitting the piñatas. We recorded the whole thing uncensored, so the energy you feel in that bridge is genuine. The line “who likes peanuts?” was because my producer got a bag of peanut M&M’s, and this is what I love about production. It’s endlessly creative in terms of the sonic sounds. I love creating my own sounds. I do it on most of my songs. I think that is my signature. Creating my own unique samples using random objects or even my own voice.
Coming from a long lineage of performers and artists, do you feel like you have expectations for yourself and your art?
Yeah, that’s interesting. My great-grandma, Betty Burgess, was a Paramount actress in the ‘30s, and my great-grandfather was a tap dancer. He tap-danced with Fred Astaire and Betty Grable. Together my grandparents performed vaudeville all over the United States. I also come from a long line of traveling circus performers. I was very close with my great-grandma. She passed away when I was in high school, and she left me a lot of her Hollywood memorabilia. I have old movie stills, old footage, and jewelry. She was a woman of heart. She would always say that performance is about giving. You give to your audience. It’s the relationship you build with them. So I don’t feel expectations per se. I just always want to be coming from a place of giving, always giving from an authentic place, and building a real connection with my friends and fans.
‘Pineapple Piñata’ is out now.