Having earned her stripes touring Europe with Girlhood back in 2018/2019, rising London newcomer Pollena and her fresh, kaleidoscopic take on electronica and alt-pop are a welcome dose of hazy optimism in 2021.
Having used lockdown to experiment on her sound and work with a selection of new producers, her new single 'Glitter' is a welcome introduction to her dreamy world.
We caught up with Pollena to chat about the track, touring with Girlhood and what she loves the most about the London music scene.
Hi! You’ve got a new single out, tell us a bit about ‘Glitter’ and where the song came from?
Hello! Glitter is all about the feeling you get when you’re at a party, you’re feeling great, all your mates are there and the people that you don’t know look interesting, the music excites you, it’s all going off basically. I’ve always wanted to write a song that encapsulates that feeling and experience, but I’ve never quite got there until now with Glitter, it makes me smile every time I listen to it.
You’ve been involved in the music scene for a good few years now, tell us a bit about touring with Girlhood?
Touring with Girlhood was so much fun, their music is so feel good so it’s always so fun to sing live. I would have two mics, one with mega reverb to play around with, so I liked that I could be super creative every night. My favourite gig was probably in Iceland as we did a massive tour of all the crazy geographical sites the morning after the gig, and it was wild.
Do you think those experiences have had any influence on how you create music today?
I do sometimes think about what would work live as a result of those experiences, like if I’m writing a song that’s more upbeat and goes off I think yeah, that will work quite well with a crowd. But personally, I think writing for a crowd in the first instance or writing for anyone other than yourself is always going to be a mistake. I’ve heard music where someone is trying to make something for certain audiences and it just sounds manufactured and dead. I just want to make music that I’m craving and I like and then hopefully others will like it too.
Did you always want to be a musician, or did you have different ‘dreams’ when you were younger?
I think I wanted to be an actor for a second, but then I kind of realised that I only liked acting when there was music involved, so that dream died pretty fast!
How have you been filling your free time in a world without live music?
I’ve been writing and recording a lot. I’ve been taking inspiration from news features, like one song I’ve written is about the concept of skin hunger when you’re single for example. I’ve loved using this time to work with new people and strangely have made quite a fair few new friends through music.
And which venue will you be heading to first when gigging returns?
Ooohh that’s hard, I think that is actually genuinely too hard to say, maybe The Lexington?! Such a good sound system and techs there. I’ve got tickets to Maiden Voyage festival in August which I’m really excited about … although they haven’t announced the venue yet!
Who are some of your favourite new artists from London?
Arlo Parks is smashing it at the moment loving her lyrics. Loving Berwyn, Laundromat, Sans Soucis and Greentea Peng as well.
What would the dream Pollena music video look like?
I would love to make a semi animated video. I’ve always got lots of crazy things going through my mind that aligns with my music so would love to include some graphics/ animation further down the road.
What’s the plan for the rest of 2021?
I’m working with a fair few rising producers I’m excited about so I’m gonna be releasing those tracks throughout the year. I also want to start performing my tracks live as soon as we can!