Jeannie Marie Bocchicchio (/bəˈkiːkioʊ/; born February 9, 1989), known professionally as Gia Farrell, is an American singer-songwriter. Her 2006 single "Hit Me Up" was featured on the Happy Feet soundtrack in 2006.
Bocchicchio was born in Suffern, New York to Italian-American parents. She began singing lessons at the age of 8. She continued to train her voice, and appeared in a local production of Guys and Dolls and opened for Fat Joe, where she performed songs from Beyoncé and Mariah Carey.
At age 13, she had performed on Showtime At The Apollo being named one of their "Best Artists of the Year" as well as on Ed McMahon's Next Big Star and Star Search. In 2005 she signed with Atlantic Records. She later adopted her grandmother's maiden name as her stage name. Farrell cites artists Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey and Christina Aguilera as her biggest influences.
Farrell released her first single, "Hit Me Up", in January 2007. The song was featured on the soundtrack of the movie Happy Feet. It found moderate success internationally charting in various parts of Europe, topping the charts in Hungary and peaking at #6 in Australia. The single was used as the theme song for the second season of Germany's Next Topmodel. For the 2006 holiday season, Farrell's song "Christmas Everyday" was released on the Make-A-Wish Holiday CD sold at Bath & Body Works. In 2007 she recorded three songs "You'll be Sorry", "Can & Cannot Do" and "Stupid For You" with the singer and also an actress Demi Lovato, however none were officially released as part of a CD or album. This was due to Gia Farrell being dropped from her label right before her album being released. During this time in her early career, Gia had several managers and handlers including Doug Davis son of the legendary Clive Davis. After parting ways with Doug, Gia was forced to find new management. Gia's new manager was an unscrupulous individual who attempted to derail her career, steal her money and keep her in the dark. Unfortunately, he was successful at terminating her multi million dollar-recording contract with Atlantic Records and then attempted to sue Gia. After a lengthy court battle and tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees, Gia won the court case and permanently parted ways with the manager. In April 2007 Farrell rode on the float for the opening parade celebration at the Cincinnati Reds opening day baseball game and sang the US National Anthem. In December 2007 Farrell was dropped by Atlantic Records.
In May 2009 she released a demo single "New Religion" which was accompanied with a music video. Gia began posting random YouTube videos of original and cover songs. As of 2011 her videos had reached 600,000+ views In January 2011, Farrell joined Miranda Cosgrove on her tour to promote her debut album, "Sparks Fly". In mid June 2011, Farrell joined in a cover song with The All Ways band. She also Appeared on the eleventh season of American Idol as Jeannie Bocchicchio but was unable to complete the season.
After returning from the Miranda tours, Gia wanted to get back to work on her own music and make the record she always wanted to make but never got the chance. Gia was introduced to songwriter/Manager Zach Neil in the late summer of 2013. Gia and Zach entered the studio to work on writing songs for what would become her first commercial release since the Happy Feet soundtrack. After four months of writing and recording together, they decided it was time to form a group. Gia's vision for her new project was "Pop Alternative" meaning she wanted to take all of her influences which range from Whitney Houston to the White Stripes, and find a way to meld them into a new sound that is both pop and alternative. Her mission was successful and the first batch of songs Gia and Zach wrote made the mark.
In late February 2014, many of Gia Farrell's Videos and covers were re-uploaded anonymously and the song New Religion had notable quality improvement. Along with many other seldom seen songs that were thought to be long gone. Among those songs were: Hit Me Up, You'll Be Sorry, Stupid for You, Got Me Like Oh!, Obvious, I Been Hopin', Can & Cannot Do, Christmas Everyday, Oh Holy Night, The Christmas Song, New Religion (Studio Version), Hit Me Up (Mix Show Edit), Party In The USA (Acoustic Cover), Sweet Dreams (Acoustic Cover), Human Nature (Acoustic Cover), Bulletproof (Acoustic Cover), Breakeven (Acoustic Cover), Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer (Piano Cover), Tik Tok (Acoustic Cover), Bad Romance (Acoustic Cover) and Hit Me Up (Acoustic).
Gia signed to management with Zach Neil shortly after and began looking for a counterpart to complete her new girl duo. The vision was to have a two-girl group with a permanent support band. Gia found Kandice Brending, a Portland native who performed and studied as a classical pianist/singer songwriter. The two met and immediately had great chemistry. Gia asked Kandice to be part of the group after their second meeting. Gia is a life long fanatical Beatles fan so when deciding what to call her new project, Zach suggested Blackbird, in part after the beatles song and also in part as a reference to the darker artistic side of Gia's new project. Gia loved the name and so Blackbird officially began in the spring of 2014.
Blackbird was invited to perform for a run of dates on the 2014 Vans Warped Tour. These shows were the bands first ever-live performances. The Warped tour embraced Gia and Blackbird with open arms. They performed to large crowds of enthusiastic fans in major cities. Gia was asked to sing for the tours owner/founder Kevin Lyman at the private Warped Tour 20th anniversary party. The hype from the tour and the bands captivating performances created a buzz and an interest from several music industry veterans who have now signed on to work as a part of the Blackbird team. Blackbird plans to release their first EP in late fall of 2014 and will begin supporting tours around that same time.
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