Other than her signature orange hairdo Elisabeth Verstraete aka Polar Youth proudly (and effortlessly) rocks, she’s also well-known for the music she’s been producing. At just the age of 12, she took off on her own to learn the ins and outs of creating music on her own terms.
Now at 24 and with much more knowledge earning her the Red Bull Elektropedia’s Most Promising Artist Award and multiple collaborations with amazing DJs. Now, she just dropped her new single “Call Out” featuring songstress WAYI and Lani Rose. We’re excited to have a chance to chat with Polar Youth just ahead of the release and even more pumped to see what’s to come.
The Young Folks: First off, your start in music started at an early age. Who taught you the ropes at age 12 when you were just starting off producing music?
Polar Youth: I actually did it all by myself. I mean, the first year I messed around with loops and samples a lot but I also looked up a lot on the Internet. I read books and watched a lot of YouTube tutorials.
TYF: Looking back to when you were 12 to now, is there anything you wish you could have done differently or maybe tell your 12-year-old self?
PY: I wish I worked harder. At that time I was more focused on school and friends, of course, and didn’t see how important music was going to be for me. I just thought it was a hobby. But music is my way of expressing myself, I give my all when making music. I know that if I had worked harder, I would have had more knowledge about the technical side of music (mixing and mastering). It’s still a thing I struggle with.
TYF: Now you’ve released two amazingly catchy songs. With “Secrets” you found ÊMIA through Soundcloud. What’s your take on Soundcloud artists and using it as a platform for artists around the world to share their work?
PY: Thank you! Soundcloud was way bigger back in the days but it all moved to Spotify and YouTube. I’m still very grateful for Soundcloud because it’s my go-to for discovering new up-and-coming artists, like ÊMIA. Soundcloud is so user-friendly, which is why so many artists post their tracks on it.
TYF: Having worked in the studio receiving different feedback and working with other artists, what’s that like for you? How have you noticed yourself grown as an artist?
PY: The thing I love the MOST as a producer is working with other people. I learn so much about them, about how they perceive music; it’s an eye-opener for sure. They give me tips, I give them tips, sharing knowledge is so powerful in this industry.
TYF: Now you’re releasing “Call Out” which you helped write the lyrics for. What was that moment like for you? Did you know exactly what you were getting yourself into or did it take a lot of trial and error?
PY: I felt so cool and great. I’m just proud of myself. Before making ‘‘Call Out’’ I knew exactly what I wanted to write about. Someone you love so much, but them pushing you away. I’ve experienced that in my life with my childhood best friend, which we never spoke about, so for me it was a way of expressing how I felt, even though it happened years ago, I never was able to let that feeling go until now, with my music.
TYF: Along with writing the lyrics, you decided to go for a duet. Do you foresee yourself continuing this down the line?
PY: A duet is something that was on my bucket list and it felt right to have it with this track. I’m not particularly focused on making duets again but if I ever get the chance, I will definitely grab it with my two hands.
TYF: With two songs under your belt, people (like me) are obviously wondering about your debut EP! How has the process been putting that together?
PY: This EP means so much to me. Through the years of making music, I’ve listened too much to what other people had to say about my music. How it should sound, what wasn’t right, etc. The last few years I’ve grown mentally stronger and have been more confident in my work than ever before. When making this EP I never sent my demos to my friends or family or people from the industry. I was focused on me, what I like, what I wanted it to sound like. That’s why I’m so proud of it. It’s everything I like, I decided 100% how it should sound like. I made the artwork of my EP, too. It’s 100% me.
TYF: What’s one thing on your career bucket list you hope to achieve either this year or in your lifetime?
PY: Collaborating with Coely again would be awesome! And working with other Belgian artists like Roméo Elvis, Zwangere Guy, Caballero & Jeanjass or Blu Samu would make me so happy.