Written by Sophie Wyatt
First appearing on the music scene after touring with neo-soul outfit Girlhood, singer-songwriter Pollena is back with a bang. After spending national lockdowns working and developing her sound, the budding artist’s track ‘Glitter’ has landed incredibly well with fans. Merging unique and experimental sounds to create her instantly recognisable sound, Pollena is anything but boring. We go the chance to chat with the rising star about her journey through the music world, her latest releases and the future of her genre-blending tunes.
With such a unique blend of sounds, naturally we wanted to know where it all started. So to kick off the interview we asked Pollena to take a trip down memory lane back in order to recall her first prominent memories of music.
‘Music was such a big thing in my family, my dad and my brothers can play pretty much anything on the piano by ear and my mum would always sing harmonies to any song that was on. One of my first memories is my brother bashing out ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’ on the piano and one by one all of us hearing and joining in and making up our own parts, hitting random things for instruments, then before we knew it we were all laughing and singing around the piano. That would happen a lot, it was a pretty loud household!‘
It wasn’t long after finding her passion for music that Pollena realised she wanted to turn this passion into a career. Using music as a cathartic release for worries and anxieties meant that not only does Pollena create music for her fans, but also for herself.
‘I remember writing my first song at the age of seven and just loving having this creation that I could share with other people and that could reflect how I was feeling at the time. From then onwards I would write songs regularly, it just became a part of the way I dealt with emotions and events in my life. I find that I can release anxieties and unwanted thoughts in my music, or as I did with ‘Glitter’, incapsulate fantastic memories that I never want to forget in a song. It’s still really nice listening back to my music and essentially hearing a memory, it reminds me that whatever I’m worrying about now will be insignificant soon enough and that the good times I’ve had in the past will come back around.’
While uncountable music projects are released every day, for different artists from every corner of the world, genre as we once knew it is becoming obsolete. Rather than falling into one category of genre, artists are taking inspiration from many and blending them to create recognisable sounds. Pollena is one of the artists doing just this. She explained to us a bit more about the story behind her music and what she wants to convey to her fans.
‘I always aim for my music to sound fresh, interesting and something I’m craving and want to listen to myself! There’s nothing that is formulaic as a result in my music, as yeah that description is pretty expansive, although I do always ensure that the tracks can work together as a cohesive collective when I’m writing. Ultimately I think my voice and my lyrics are what connects my tracks, I always try to evoke the feelings I had when I originally wrote the lyrics when I’m recording my vocals so they feel authentic to me and the listeners.
I want people to relate and feel something when they hear my music. Music is such a great way to feel less alone, and having my music out there makes me feel so connected to the world. It’s important to me that my music is bringing something different to the table, and that fundamentally I’d want to listen to it if I wasn’t me!‘
National lockdowns have seen almost every live show cancelled over the past year. Not only has this been devastating for fans, it has also meant that creatives have had to put factors of their passion on hold. It has also meant that artists have had to turn to social media and live streams in order to keep up connections with fans. We asked Pollena how she has dealt with being an artist over the past year.
‘Like most creatives, I find it challenging to balance what is required to be creative (alone time, freedom of thought, angst and a bit of boredom, physical actual time) with my social life and its associated pressures and obligations. Without it I’ve been free to make as much music as I’ve always wanted to, which has been great. Although now i’m a bit over it and want my mates back to be honest.‘
Pollena’s latest single ‘Glitter’, continues to embody her unique blend of genres. The dreamy tune encapsulates Pollena at her finest; upbeat flows woven into her instantly recognisable sound. She explained to us more about the story behind the track.
‘I’m so glad you asked because I love the story behind Glitter! Imagine the best party ever, where you’re feeling great, your mates are all around you, the music is amazing, the people you don’t know look interesting. Just that feeling of pure, visceral, animalistic LIFE that a great party can encapsulate. So Glitter is basically that feeling boxed up and I’ve been so happy to see that translate to listeners.’
While we wait for the day we can once again see our favourite artists up on stage (yes, in real life), we will settle for the excitement of new music releases. Thank god for streaming! Pollena left us with some exciting news.
‘I’ve got a lot of plans! I’m working with a fair few rising producers I’m excited about so I’m going to be releasing those tracks throughout the year. I also want to start performing my tracks live as well once we can.’