Elisabeth Verstraete, better known by her stage name, Polar Youth, is an up-and-coming Belgian producer with a true passion for her art. She recently dropped her new EP, Lost & Found, and it’s not difficult to recognize the hard work, genuine honesty and general lust for life present throughout her work. “Drifter” (featuring Fortress and Trent The Hooligan), the lead single for Lost & Found, encompasses enough warmth and heart that the song resembles a fresh breath of air in the electronic genre.
Her work hasn’t gone unnoticed, either. The 24-year-old was crowned Most Promising Artist at the Red Bull Elektropedia Awards and has already scored collaborations with the likes of DJ Fresh (“All Night”). The future couldn’t be brighter for this young star.
Polar Youth was kind enough to answer some of my questions.
Talk to me about the name ‘Polar Youth’ – what made you decide to use that as a stage name?
I created the name Polar Youth on a Thursday night at around 4am. I think. Before Polar Youth, I used to make music under the name ‘Mary Trappins’, which I find so cringy, haha. A friend of mine told me I should change my name because he thought it was horrible. Shout out to you Faysal! I chose Polar because I like everything about the cold weather. The landscape you get when it’s covered in snow, it’s so relaxing. And I added Youth to it because I like the pronunciation of that word and because I’m young myself.
How did you get into music, and more specifically, producing your own music?
To be honest, I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t making my own songs. I learned to play the guitar at a young age and when I was 12 I learned about the DAW [Digital Audio Workstation] FL Studio. It opened my eyes.
How did you land yourself a collaboration with DJ Fresh? What was that like?
One of my contacts at my label is friends with DJ Fresh’s manager. He then mentioned my name and sent my tracks to DJ Fresh. Dan (DJ Fresh) was very enthusiastic about my music. We then met backstage in Ghent, where he had to do a DJ set. A couple of months later I was in his studio, near Oxford, in England. It was such an amazing experience! We’ve learned a lot about each other’s way of working. He’s an awesome guy.
Can you talk a little bit about your new EP, Lost & Found? What was the inspiration behind the project?
In 2016, I kind of lost my musical identity. I had no idea what I wanted to make. I was also heavily influenced by the people around me who were telling me how I should sound like. In the beginning of 2018, I felt the fire in me waking up again so I wanted to come back with an EP. I also didn’t send any of my tracks to anyone before they were finished. The point of my EP was that I believed 100% in all of the tracks, not listening to anyone else but me and I achieved this!
Why did you choose “Drifter” as your lead single?
Drifter is the first track I wrote for my EP. It’s the one track that gave me confidence again, that inspired me to make this EP.
What have you learnt from the experience of releasing “Lost & Found”?
I’ve learned a lot during my past years in the music industry but I had never released an EP before. There’s a lot of work going in an EP, work I couldn’t have done by myself. I focused on the creative side, the music and artwork. So shout out to my label N.E.W.S., Jim and Alison from Weird !s Good and the peeps supporting me!
Featured Image courtesy of Weird !s Good PR & Social Media