20 Questions with Gia Woods: How Expelling Toxic Patterns & People Led to Her Debut LP

As drastic as it may sound, Gia Woods thinks that everyone ought to have a good “cut season” every once in a while.

What the 24-year-old rising pop sensation means is that every now and then, everyone ought to reevaluate the relationships they find themselves in — friends, family, co-workers – and determine who’s getting cut from the roster. As she eloquently stated on her Twitter, “Block your exes. Change your number. Get a manicure. Dye your hair.”

It’s through this simple, yet brutal concept that Woods’ debut LP Cut Season (out today) was born. Each of the eight tracks off of the new project explore a different idea — ideas like “Ego,” “Hungry,” “Sabotage” and more — that Gia is carefully considering purging from her life. It’s a cut season, but not necessarily for people; rather, for your own, internal toxic tendencies. “Too young to feel this bad,” she sings in the album’s opening line. “Hoping so bad I’ll change.”

Just before Cut Season’s release, Woods answered Billboard’s 20 questions, speaking about putting together her first album, how she recently discovered she loves the TV show Friends, and her best tips for fans looking to have their very own cut season.

1. What’s the first piece of music that you bought for yourself, and what was the medium?

I was probably 8 years old when I bought my first CD, which was Dookie by Green Day.    

2. What was the first concert you saw?

My first concert was Britney Spears during her Circus tour. 

3. What did your parents do for a living when you were a kid?

My mom was a stay at home mom and my dad owned a popular Persian restaurant in West LA. 

4. Who made you realize you could be an artist full-time?

My first manager who scouted me from my high school’s choir performance. It was during my senior year and right around the time I needed to make a decision about which college I wanted to go to. Because of my manager scouting me, I ended up not going to college at all and pursuing music full time. 

5. What’s at the top of your professional bucket list?

I’ve always dreamed of going on a long European tour. Ask any of my friends and they’ll tell you I’ve been talking about it for so long. 

6. How did your hometown/city shape who you are?

I feel like growing up in LA shaped me as a person and an artist because there’s so many creative people here. From a young age I’ve been surrounded by people from all around the world and exposed to so much. I think that’s one really special thing about LA, there’s a little bit of everything here. 

7. You’ve been releasing music since 2016, but Cut Season marks your official debut EP. Why did you wait until now to release this project?

When I put out my first song, “Only a Girl,” I wasn’t really prepared for the reaction that it would get. It was amazing but also overwhelming and I felt that I needed to take a step back and take the time to develop my sound. I wanted to really think about how I wanted to put music out — not just sonically but also visually. I took a break to develop my sound more, and in the middle of that process, I ended up getting a record deal. I took that opportunity and suddenly had more people to collaborate and develop with.

I started to really get my vision together, and as I was writing songs I started to realize what I was working on had the potential to be a full cohesive project, rather than just a bunch of singles. I’m the kind of person who prefers to listen to a full album rather than the singles. As an artist it’s important to me to be putting out a project that feels cohesive, and that’s why I took so much time with this one. I’m really happy with how it turned out. 

8. The EP is all about purging toxic patterns and people from your life. What advice would you give to a fan looking to do a similar purge?

I think that going through a “cut season” isn’t just a one time thing in your life, it’s something that will continue to happen whenever you go through big periods of growth. My biggest piece of advice is just to always remember that it’s OK to walk away from people if you need to, even ones you thought you’d never walk away from. It could be a romantic partner, best friend, family member, as sad as that can be, it’s important to move forward in your life.

9. The singles of Cut Season focus on ideas and personality types, like “Hungry,” “Ego,” “Naive,” etc. Which of these do you identify with most?

I identify with “Ego” the most, because sometimes I feel like I can have a pretty big ego. I don’t think having an ego is always necessarily a bad thing, but there are definitely things I’m trying to be better about. I’m working on admitting and owning up to my mistakes, and also letting myself be more vulnerable. 

10. What’s been your experience with self-isolation throughout this pandemic?

This period of self-isolation has been an eye-opening time for me. I actually ended up making a lot more cuts this cut season than I was expecting to. Times have been crazy, and it definitely put some of my friendships to the test. But I feel like I learned who my real friends I can really depend on are. And I’ve also learned how to be alone, which has been more of a growing experience than I could’ve imagined. Having to sit with my own thoughts and demons forced me to learn about myself in ways that I never thought I would. I’ve also had to learn how to manage my own time, because you can easily just do nothing. But I try my best to always be doing something to better myself. 

11. What’s the last song you listened to?

I was just listening to “Your Man” by Joji. He’s so good it’s annoying! 

12. If you could see any artist in concert, dead or alive, who would it be?

That’s easy, Madonna for sure. I’ve haven’t seen her in concert but I’m dying to. I’ve watched all of her live performances online, because that’s as close as I can get for now.

13. What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen happen in the crowd of one of your sets?

I went on an LGBTQ festival run and in one of the cities a girl in the crowd flashed me. I had to try so hard not to let it throw me off. 

14. What’s your karaoke go-to?

Toxic” by Britney Spears. Everybody knows it, and it’s such a fun song to belt with your friends.

15. What movie, or song, always makes you cry?

“Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” by Green Day. When I was younger and feeling upset I would listen to it on my iPod. And now when I listen to it, it reminds me of my dad. It makes me feel sad and happy at the same time.

16. What TV series have you watched all the way through multiple times?

Friends. To be honest, I used to just turn it on and play it in the background when I was doing something. I didn’t understand why everyone was so obsessed with it. But a couple years ago I started actually watching one episode every night and once I got into it I completely understood why everyone loves it. Now I could literally put it on any time, any day and I’ll still be obsessed with it. It’s a show I will never get sick of.  

17. What’s one thing that even your most devoted fans don’t know about you?

I don’t know if people know this or not, but English wasn’t my first language — even though I was born in the U.S.  My first language was Farsi and I started learning English in 2nd grade.

18. What’s a charitable cause that’s important to you right now?

The Black Lives Matter movement is super important to me. Lately, it feels like everything’s been crazy and there’s so many different causes that need attention. But if I had to pick one to highlight right now it would be BLM because I’m passionate about equality, and it makes me so angry to think that we have to still be fighting over racial injustice in 2020. 

19. If you were not a musician, what would you be?

If I hadn’t pursued music I would probably have become either a dentist — because my mom always talked about me being a doctor — or something tech-related, because I’m actually weirdly skilled with technology. 

20. What’s one piece of advice you would give to your younger self?

My younger self would be amazed by how comfortable I am in my own skin now. I would tell her to stop judging herself so harshly and stop worrying about what other people think so much. 

First Country: New Music From Sam Hunt, Brothers Osborne, Runaway June and More

First Country is a compilation of the best new country songs, videos and albums that dropped this week.

Sam Hunt, “Breaking Up Was Easy in the ‘90s”

Technology isn’t always our friend, especially when it comes to affairs of the broken heart, Hunt laments in this slinky track from Southside. Delivered in his trademark spoken/sung style, Hunt can’t escape his ex on this slow jam because her photos are always popping up on his social media and, even worse, he can’t pretend that she’s called and he missed like call like people could in the ‘90s.

Brothers Osborne, Skeletons

“Got skeletons in your closet/and I’ve got bones to pick with them,” growls TJ Osborne on the brotherly duo’s third studio album. The boldness never lets up on the collection as they unleash a kinetic energy on such tracks as “All Night” and “Lighten Up.”

There’s a confidence here (check out swampy, fun instrumental “Muskrat Greene), but there’s also heart on tracks like “Make It A Good One” and “Hatin’ Somebody.” Brothers Osborne go from strength to strength.

Justin Moore, “We Didn’t Have Much”

In a preview to his forthcoming album, Moore looks back on growing up on in “a little bitty house and a lot of love,” and yet, he never felt anything less than abundance. The mid-tempo, swaying acoustic track veers down the well-trod nostalgia path in an affectionate sweet way in this cinematic track.

“I think its a poignant lyric for this time in our lives,” Moore said in a statement of the song written by Jeremy Stover, Randy Montana and Paul DiGiovanni. “2020 has led my family and I to lead a more simple life than what we are accustomed to, and this song speaks to the beauty in that simplicity.”

Lindsay Ell, “Want Me Back”

In this lush throwback video to Ell’s current single, Ell is half of famous duo, Eddie & Ell. But all is not well behind the cameras. She ditches her controlling partner and soars as a solo artist in a nod to famous professional/personal splits of the past like Sonny & Cher. A feast for the eyes as well as the eyes. Ell should sell that shade of red lipstick on her website.

Laine Hardy, “Tiny Town”

Hardy, American Idol season 17 winner, adds one more entry into the never-ending canon of country songs exalting the pleasures of small-town life, including waving to your neighbors, enjoying a home-cooked meal, and congregating at high school football games on Friday and church on Sunday. The acoustic melody has an easy-going appeal similar to Tim McGraw’s “I Called Mama,” boosted by Hardy’s genial delivery.

Gone West, “I’m Never Getting You”

“I want the end to be easier than the start,” Colbie Caillat sings in Gone West’s gorgeous piano-based ballad. Turns out the song, about the end of the relationship, also serves as the co-ed quartet’s swan song as they have called it quits. Add in that she and her ex-fiance Justin Young are singing too each other and the drama is all too real. It plays out elegantly and poignantly in the stark black and white video.

Runaway June, “When We Were Rich”

Remember when running through the sprinkler in the front yard or a little league game was all you needed to feel like you were living the high life? Runaway June amplifies that idea in the video for “When We Were Rich,” showcasing as Moore does, that wealth is measured in much more than dollars.

Kassi Ashton, “Black Motorcycle”

Ashton’s rebellious attitude is front and center on this woozy rock track where she lauds the joys of “lay[ing] back on the back of your black motorcycle” with her modern day Easy Rider as they ride into the metaphorical sunset. She has partnered with Harley Davidson as one of its brand ambassadors after she performed for the motorcycle manufacturer last fall. Seems like a great way to get the song out given the perhaps limited scope of the material.

Chase Martin, “Levi Denim”

Martin is all sass and swagger in this twangy song as she appreciates her own assets and is betting that others will too. It feels a little too much like a commercial for Levis, but it’s a bold statement that she delivers with confidence and serves well as a memorable, if potentially polarizing, introduction.

Ella Mai Explains Why She’s in Love With the Woman She’s Becoming

“What do you think of R&B right now?” asks Ella Mai with a quizzical expression on her face. Days following the release of her new single “Not Another Love Song,” the 25-year-old singer is at the tail-end of our Zoom interview, where she expresses her appreciation for the genre, her torrid collaborations with music juggernauts Ed Sheeran and Usher, and welcoming a new phase of womanhood.

After I rattle off a flurry of 2020 releases from Jhené Aiko, Kehlani, and Kiana Lede, Mai smiles and gives a nod of approval, acknowledging her own happiness with the R&B space. Though Mai has played the sideline much of 2020, busily chipping away at her forthcoming sophomore attempt, she’s more than ready to add in her contributions to the mix.

Her first single “Not Another Love Song” is an impressive 180 from her 2017 breakout single “Boo’d Up,” which zoomed into the top five of the Billboard Hot 100. Instead of slinging a bubbly ode to romance like her predecessor, Mai’s fear about falling in too deep rips through the Boi-1da production. “Deep in, swimmin’ in my feelings /I’ve been here before but it feels like I’m drownin’/ Sinkin’, am I overthinkin’? Tell me, am I foolish to think you need me here?” she wonders on the song’s opening verse.

With co-signs from Beyonce and Rihanna in 2020, Mai’s morale is at an all-time high as she gears up for a new chapter in her career. In her latest interview with Billboard, the singer speaks on her new single, her surging confidence, and why protecting Black women remains necessary.

I was surprised to hear you come with a B-side type of song as your first single after breaking through with “Boo’d Up.” Was that an intentional move on your part?

I definitely don’t think it was intentional — like I went into the studio, and I needed to get away from “Boo’d Up.” That definitely wasn’t the plan. As much as “Boo’d Up” is two or three years old, it’s still a lot of the reason why people love me. I don’t go into the studio and actively say “[the song] has to be like this.”

I did a session with Boi-1da and Jahaan [Sweet] and Varren — who I work with — and we actually made a whole different song in the session that we did. This was the first time I was working with Boi-1da and he was playing me the other stuff after we finished that and I was like, “Please leave me a pack.” And he was like, “Yeah, I got you.” So he left me like 15 different beats. I left it alone and went away for like a month, came back and I thought, “I haven’t looked at this Bo1ida pack. Let me go through it.” I went through it and came “Not Another Love Song.”

Me and Varren looked at each other and said, “We have to do this.” The beat was too hard already. He really, really did that, which [Boi-1da] always does. That’s really just the way it came out. It took two days to make. The first night, we got the chorus and maybe a bit of the first verse and the pre-chorus, but we were unsure where it was going to go. So we said, “Let’s come back tomorrow with fresh ears and see what we can do.”

When we came back, it just came. I just remember the first time listening to it and I didn’t even care if it was different. I felt this was the progression anyway that people needed to see because “Boo’d Up” is “Boo’d Up,” “Trip” is Trip,” and the debut album is the debut album. When I was little, I loved to see the evolution of the artist. So I think “Not Another Love Song” is a great first look into what I’ve been working on. I love it so much.

Did COVID affect your creativity or recording process in any way?

Honestly, other than the fact that I couldn’t go to the studio and when I did, I was under different measures. Like, only a certain number of people were allowed in the room to stay safe, but that was it. Creatively, it might have actually helped. I don’t know, because I’m a creature of habit. So being able to be in the room with the same three or four people [didn’t affect me]. I don’t need to be on a beach somewhere, [because] I’m a creature of habit. So if I can be in the same room and know exactly where everything is, it kind of makes me a bit more comfortable than being somewhere different everyday. The pandemic didn’t really affect me creatively in any way.

What chances do you feel like you’ve taken so far on this album that you may have not been able to on your debut project?

A lot, I think. I think these sessions that I’ve been doing for the sophomore album are a lot more figured out. When I was recording the debut, I was a lot younger, and I was trying to figure out what I wanted to sound like, figure out what I wanted to say — and as much as I love my debut album, I was in a very much different space career-wise and as a person. I was 21, 22.

I’m 25 now. Going into this sophomore album, I’m a lot more confident I think as an artist. I know what I want to say and what I want to sound like. Just in terms of that, it’s been a different process in general, because it’s been fun.

The confidence you mentioned, do you think that you also developed that as a woman and it poured over to the music, as well?

Absolutely. 100%. Just getting older and going through the motions of just being a young woman trying to navigate the world, let alone the music industry — it definitely plays a big, big part. I think I’ve always had a strong head on my shoulders. So even with the debut, I had glimpses of that assertiveness. This time around, I feel like it’s more of an “in your face” kind of thing — not too much, though.

How would you compare the chemistry between you and Mustard now versus, when y’all first linked up?

It’s almost like when people say, “It’s better left unsaid.” Before, we were both figuring out how each other worked. Obviously, Mustard has been in the game for a very long time — and I’m new, trying to navigate while he’s giving me advice. Now that we’ve been doing it for a while, it’s almost like we can go into a room and not even say anything. It just works, if you get what I mean. It’s taken time and I think we’re still learning about each other with being in the room and working. But for both us, I think we were so excited with the debut album.

I used to tell people I appreciate Mustard so much, because he treated my debut album as if it was his. He put a lot of time into what we were doing. So now that we’re getting back into it, it’s like, “Cool. Where do we wanna go?” As the songs keep coming about — because I’m not finished yet — it’s almost that feeling again that we had with the debut album. It’s God’s given gift that we met each other, because I honestly can’t thank him enough, even if it’s for advice. The music is incredible.

You’ve strung together some nice features for yourself after working with Ed Sheeran, Usher and Mahalia. Which feature was your favorite to do?

[Laughs] You know what? They’re all very special in their own different way — and I know that sounds like the cliché answer, but it’s really true. With Meek [Mill] for example, “24/7″ was basically the first feature that I did after “Boo’d Up.” Everyone loved “24/7,” and I loved that record as well. So that was a great kind of introduction to me in the feature world.

Then, with Ed Sheeran’s [“Put It All on Me”], I thought that was a joke. When they said, “Ed Sheeran wants you on the album,” I was like, “Hmmm. Me?” The pop world is a hole I haven’t really dug into. I know he crosses a lot of different barriers, but I hadn’t been in that world. I didn’t know how it was going to sound. But they played me the record and I loved it. I said, “I never actually heard myself on something like this anyway. So let’s do it.”

Then Mahalia might be my favorite, because we’re from the same place. We’re around a similar age. I can play “What You Did” 10,000 times during the day and never get tired of it. She’s a genuine person, and we really get along. I love what she does as an artist. So to come together as two Black women in 2019 was super special to me. Usher, of course, is a legend. So that in itself was a whole other realm. If I had to pick one, I’d say Mahalia, but I love them all.

Talk about your experience pulling up for Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty Vol. 2 event.

I was definitely trying to see how it would be after COVID. They did an amazing job with that. I’m a huge Rihanna fan. I feel like everybody thinks she can’t do no wrong. So everything that Savage X Fenty stands for as a brand is amazing. It’s different women of different cultures, shapes, sizes, sexuality and everything.

I think it was just amazing to be a part of in general also, because I’ve been away for a little while. So for that to be kind of my first introduction back into the scene — I just really wanted to be a part of it and to be able to perform new music. The show was amazing.

You previously opened up for Bruno Mars and Ariana Grande, while also headlining your own tour. What did you learn from those experiences that you plan to implement to not only future tours, but also performances, knowing that everything is limited now with COVID?

That’s a great question. With COVID, to be honest. I don’t know. Everything is so complicated right now. But just in general, as a performer — if we erase COVID, even though we can’t — when you open up for people, you’re a little bit restricted. So it was just me and my band. But my headline tour, I had my backup vocalists, which was super important to me. We had quite minimal production with lights and smoke, but we kept it that way because we really just wanted to focus on the music.  It went pretty well. To have people sing “Boo’d Up” and “Trip,” that was cool, but when people are singing every word to every album cut, to me, we don’t need the crazy stage. Again, that’s progression.

So we’ll that get there, but elevating the show a little bit more [is the goal]. I want to incorporate more live stuff into this sophomore album — like performing with my band, because I think they’re amazing.

You have been vocal regarding the lack of justice in the Breonna Taylor case. With hip-hop and R&B standing by the need to protect Black women, especially after Megan Thee Stallion voiced her stance during her Saturday Night Live performance, what do you feel this country needs to do ensure the safety of African American females?

In a sense of that, I was watching Megan’s SNL performance the other day. I think during the pandemic with everything that was going on, there was obviously a lot of talk. I think the more important thing — and I think everyone thinks this — is [the need for] action. I think we’re all trying to figure it out. I don’t think anybody really has an answer, because if we had the answer, we wouldn’t be in this position that we’re in. We definitely have to figure things out day-to-day, but with more people actually doing.

Protesting is not for everyone. So I wasn’t going to judge if somebody didn’t go out and protest. Everybody’s impact, whether it’s small or large, is needed. So I think action instead of performative talk on social media is [important]. We can fight all we want, but these organizations and companies that have come out because it’s kind of the thing to do now because it’s looks good — we need action and protection for black people in general, but this fight has been way, way too long.

Japan Highlights Global Chart Debuts With New Songs by Joji, Bump of Chicken & King Gnu

Thirty songs debut on Billboard’s latest global charts, the recently-launched Billboard Global 200 and Billboard Global Excl. U.S. surveys (dated Oct. 10).

While the U.S. and U.K. produced a combined 16 of those arrivals, three acts from Japan yield nine debuts, led by “Acacia” by Bump of Chicken. The track launches on both charts, while over-indexing significantly on the Global Excl. U.S. ranking.

Fueled by its inclusion in a promotional video for a new Pokémon feature, “Acacia” enters at No. 57 on the Global Excl. U.S. chart and No. 170 on the Global 200. The video targets international fans with subtitles in nine language, with almost all of the song’s global streams and sales in the tracking week from outside the U.S.

Meanwhile, King Gnu debuts with “Hakujitsu” at No. 192 on the Global Excl. U.S. chart with 4.8 million global streams and 6,000 worldwide sales (in territories outside the U.S.), according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data.

And then there’s Joji: the 28-year-old YouTube prank-comedian turned singer-songwriter-auteur who moved from Japan to the U.S. a decade ago to embark on his entertainment career. This week, that trans-national journey sparks his latest chart success.

Following the Sept. 25 release of his sophomore LP Nectar, he lands seven debuts on the Global 200.  Not only does that mark the most entrances of any artist this week, it places him in a three-way tie with Machine Gun Kelly and Pop Smoke for the most songs on the Oct. 10-dated chart.

Album opener “Ew” brings Joji his highest debut, at No. 114, followed by “Gimme Love” (No. 123), “Your Man” (No. 125), “Daylight” with Diplo (No. 126), “Modus” (No. 143), “Tick Tock” (No. 163), and “Pretty Boy” with Lil Yachty (No. 193).

Notably, while Joji debuts seven entries on the Global 200, he is absent from the Global Excl. U.S. chart. This is in stark contrast to most Asian-born acts who have so far over-indexed on the latter list. Joji’s musical makeup has more in common with western pop, R&B, and hip-hop than the more traditional J-pop and rock that backed the debuts by Bump of Chicken and King Gnu.

Joji’s success on the Global 200 is complemented by career-high peaks on the latest Billboard 200 (No. 3) and the Artist 100 (No. 4).

South America and Europe are also represented with new songs on the global charts. Colombia’s Camilo starts “Vida De Rico” at No. 26 on the Global Excl. U.S. chart and No. 45 on the Global 200. The song adds to his stack of global hits, extending his reach to five total entries on the Excl. U.S. ranking and three on the Global 200. His highest-ranking song on the latest lists is “Tattoo,” a collaboration with Rauw Alejandro that ranks Nos. 24 and 36, respectively.

Loredana and Delara, from Sweden and Norway, respectively, and Bonez MC (Germany) debut songs at Nos. 170 and 179 on the Global Excl. U.S. chart.

Plus, Brazil’s Niack debuts on the Global 200at No. 186 with “Oh Juliana,” as the song spends a fourth week on the Global Excl. U.S. chart, climbing three spots to No. 89).

Check Out Portugal. The Man’s Special Election Season Video For ‘Feel It Still’

Portugal. The Man have posted a new version of their signature hit in an effort to make sure their fans get out and vote on Nov. 3.

The “36% Is Not Enough” version of 2017’s “Feel It Still” makes a very clear, pointed message by overlaying the original video with a rotating pie slice that only gives fans a partial view of the action in the original visual.

Why 36%? In a description along with the new video, the band explains, “According to the Census Bureau, only 36% of eligible voters ages 18-29 voted in the 2018 midterm election. Now imagine if we did everything 36%. What would 36% of a song sound like? What would 36% of a video look like?? You have to imagine no longer – we made this to show you. The world doesn’t work when we’re operating at 36%. Everyone needs to show up and vote in this election.”

With just 24 days to go until the election, PTM are just the latest act to encourage fans to vote in what experts are predicting could be a historic turnout in the contest that pits President Trump against former two-term Vice President and Senator Joe Biden.

The election is unfolding in the midst of the still-raging COVID-19 pandemic, which has infected Trump and more than two dozen White House staffers and elected officials, as well as Trump’s repeated attempts to disparage mail-in and absentee voting based on false and often-misleading claims about what he said is the potential for election fraud.

Check out PTM’s 36% remix below.

Mick Fleetwood Thanks TikTok Star For Making ‘Dreams’ Go Viral: ‘We Owe You’

Mick Fleetwood crashed a Zoom interview with TikTok star Nathan Apodaca on Thursday (Oct. 9) to thank him for making “Dreams” go viral.

“One, we owe you,” the Fleetwood Mac founder told the Idaho native, whose serene video of himself lip-syncing to the iconic 1977 hit — while riding a skateboard and drinking straight from a bottle of cranberry juice — has been viewed more than 34 million times on the platform. “It’s such a celebration of everything. I’ve heard you talking about it, and it’s so joyous and fun.”

During the chat, Fleetwood also revealed how his own recreation of the viral video came together, saying, “I was just led right into it. People around me were going like, ‘Dad, you’ve got to do this, it’s so cool.’ So we did it, and now here we are, talking.”

Apodaca’s TikTok video has also had a rather significant impact on the song’s performance — in the past week alone, “Dreams” has been streamed more than eight million times in the U.S. according to the BBC, marking its biggest week ever in the era of streaming.

“I just wanna say, outside of Fleetwood Mac, we owe you. It’s such a great story, and it’s so needed. In days that are really challenging…it makes people smile, and I’m so happy to be part of it. Congratulations on a wild, wild skateboard journey that has led us to talking today,” Fleetwood concluded, before adding, “I hope Stevie [Nicks]‘s watching. She’s going to be overjoyed.”

Watch Fleetwood’s conversation with Apodaca below.