Newcomer Musician POLLY A Discusses Signing to Adam Levine’s Label, Surprises About The Music Industry and More!
Meet Polly A! She is currently signed to Adam Levine’s label and has written songs for everyone from J. Cole (“Crooked Smile”) to Alicia Keys.
She is fresh off stints performing at Bonnaroo & Lollapalooza and she is headed on a fall tour with Selah Sue.Her EP, Ghetto Gold Dream, was released via Interscope on August 26th.
Learn more about Polly A in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! Now that we are more than half-way through 2016, what are some words you would use to describe it?
Extreme, exciting, challenging, rewarding.
What were some of the highlights of 2015 for you and your music?
Definitely being able to release some of the songs that will be on the album. Also, performing at Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza, my first two festivals. As well as working with new talented people on the visuals and just watching the movement grow.
Growing up, did you always want to be a musician?
Yes, since I was young I always knew that I wanted to be a musician.
Can you recall your earliest musical memory?
The first time I knew I had something special was in the 3rd grade, I was chosen to sing the lead in a school program without even auditioning. My teacher kind of heard me singing off to the side and chose me just like that. I didn’t really know I had a nice voice before that point.
Can you talk about first signing with Adam Levine’s label?
It was pretty organic. I met Julius Garcia, who is the President of 222, and we hit it off. I then performed a few songs for Jordan Feldstein who is the head of the label a few weeks later, and he signed me on the spot. It was great.
What is his label all about and why do you think it’s the right place for you and your music today?
Well when I first spoke to Adam one of the things he told me was that he wanted to start a label with the hopes of helping artists avoid some of the things he had to go through in the industry as a new artist and really create a space to cultivate artists and help them grow. I’ve always had a huge respect for his talent and his career so I feel like I’m in good hands.
You’ve written for a lot of big name artists like J. Cole and Alicia Keys. Why now did you decide to write for yourself?
Well I’ve always written for myself to be honest. As an artist you just want to be heard and when you get the opportunity to be heard using another artists as a vehicle, you take it because you just want your expression, any piece of it, out there. That’s the sole reason for creating it in the first place. So it was always just about going with the flow and allowing these opportunities to shape the next opportunity. It was always part of my vision to sing and perform my own music. I was just blessed to be able to do both.
How different are these songs going to be then the ones you wrote for others?
They are probably more specific to actual events in my life. Events and stories that only I could talk about. I try to be very visual in my writing and I especially took moments and feelings from my life and attempted to crystalize them so I could bring people into my world.
On August 26th (the day before my wedding!), you will release your EP, “Ghetto Gold Dream.” What does that feel like? How long did it take to put it together?
Congrats! Love is a beautiful thing! It feels great! It’s taken a few years to gather the songs; but more than that, gather a team of people who believe in the songs as much as I do to help me introduce it to people. Writing the music comes naturally to me, but finding a solid team takes so many other things like patience and faith and trust that that part is honestly what makes it beyond amazing.
How do you go about putting together a song?
Every song is different. The human condition inspires me most. When people have to continually experience things that bring them closer to their truest selves. Pain, love, loss…these are all things that we go through that changes us in profound ways, and music has always been my therapeutic drug so I want to be able to provide that drug for other people.
What do you think inspires you the most?
What was it like performing at Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza?
So much fun…being able to share my music with new people… it’s the best feeling.
How do you think playing at those big festivals compares to smaller intimate shows?
I think festival vibes are the best vibes. Everyone is just there to have a good time so even if they’ve never heard of you, they’re dancing and having fun with you in the moment. Intimate shows are great too because people are there to zone out with you.
Do you think you have a preference?
I love them both to be honest. Every performance is different and it’s just really about the energy in the room and the energy you’re prepared to share.
What can you tell us about your upcoming fall tour with Selah Sue?
It’s going to be awesome! Her vibe is super chill and cool and I’m looking forward to having some fun with her.
Where are you excited to play at the most?
I’ve never performed out of the country so I’m excited to go to Canada and check out what’s going down there.
What has it been like keeping up with social media at the early stages of your music career? Do you try and have fun with it?
Yeah I try to have fun with everything. You can’t take any of it too seriously really. I read some of the comments sometimes but I try not to let any of it get to me, the good feedback or the bad. I don’t want to develop a bad habit of seeking validation from what people say.
What if anything has surprised you about the music industry? What do you think has been your biggest challenge? And what do you think has come really naturally to you?
Probably how long it takes to get music out. When we hear a song, it’s new to the listener but most times that song was created years before it actually made it out your speakers. I think one of the biggest challenges is staying mindful of that. A lot of people follow trends and then by the time the song is out, that trend is over so that’s why it’s best to try and create your own trend. I think staying true to my taste and my own voice has come fairly naturally to me.
Who are some of your favorite artists and what bands continue to inspire you and your music?
I love Alabama Shakes, Frank Ocean, James Blake, D’Angelo to name a few.
Who would you two love to work with in the future?
James Blake, Kendrick Lamar, Anderson Paak.
At the end of the day, what do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope listeners take away from your songs?
I hope people just feel good when they hear my music. I hope it makes them feel better about life.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourself or your music?
Thank you for supporting my music. It’s my everything and I feel so blessed to be able to do it. I hope it never ends.