Polly A has a voice and a spirit that cuts through the noise. Her lyrics are purposeful and direct. Polly boasts an impressive background with the esteemed Florentine Opera Company, while her influences are steeped in the sounds of Bob Marley and Yellowman. Her move to New York to attend Columbia University opened up a host of opportunities, including a co-writing with J Cole on “Crooked Smile.”
Rolling out spoke with Polly A about her influences, the duty of a songwriter and the message behind her latest single “Chosen.”
Talk about the origins of your name.
My name Polly A comes from PollyAmor. Poly + Love. I wanted a name that symbolized what I’m about, at the core. Creating a love movement across the globe. Sounds very naive, but I don’t care. It’s necessary.
What would you say is the duty of the songwriter in these times?
The duty of the songwriter is to be true to their inner voice. To continue seeking out that inner voice of truth so that they can share it with the world.
What inspired you to follow this dream?
I think this journey chose me to be honest. After I graduated from college, I experienced so many moments of synchronicity that it almost felt like I was led into this space of creating/performing music. So that inspired me. The idea that there is something larger than me pushing me to do this. Possibly being the person to inspire someone else that will change the world, even if it’s only one person.
Who are the three artists that inspire you and why?
Frank Ocean, because he does what he wants. Erykah Badu, because she also does what she wants. Prince, because he birthed us all.
Talk to me about the song “Chosen.” Why did you write the song?
I wrote “Chosen” because I felt broken. I felt lost. It felt like the police murdering Black people was normal and being more and more normalized. I needed to heal myself. I needed something to remind myself and everyone [of] the truth: not only do you matter, but you were also chosen. We were all chosen to be here on earth and the world would not be the same without each and every person. The disenfranchised, the marginalized always need to remember that.
How would you describe your sound?
My sound is basically Billie Holiday meets Wu-Tang Clan. A lot of emotions, but it slaps.
Explain your creative process.
My creative process is pretty organic. I like to be still and allow ideas, melodies to flow through me. I identify the most urgent emotion happening at the moment and explore ways to express it.
What words do you have for those who are looking to pursue their dreams?
Create a vision. Make choices based on how opportunities align with that vision. Find out what it is you want to say and how you want to make people feel. That’s all that will matter in the end.
Check out Polly A’s video for “Chosen” below.