Interview: Polar Youth features on Quality Goods Records annual compilation

Polar Youth, TSHA, DJ Seinfeld, O'Flynn
Polar Youth, TSHA, DJ Seinfeld, O'Flynn

Image credit: Yaqine Hamzaoui

UKG producer Elisabeth Verstraete has unveiled her single ‘You Say’, which features on Quality Goods Records’ sixth annual compilation QGRC-006, under her Polar Youth moniker. The Red Bull Elektropedia award-winning creative has previously mingled with DJ Fresh and had her name and sound appear in Vice and Complex, two prominent publications that most music fans will quickly recognise. Listening to her latest offering, fans will uncover similarities in the driving percussions of London-based musician TSHA. Let’s break the ice with Polar Youth:

Stream / Download: QGRC-006 Compilation

How did the new single speak to you as a musician?

I wanted to try a different approach. Focus more on the danceability of the track. I had to step out of my comfort zone a bit, and it turned out really well!

What is the message of ‘You Say’?

When I heard the words “You Say”, I immediately thought about two people arguing. The piano in the track reflects the calm before the storm. Then you have the heaviness in the drop that reflects the argument itself.

Can you tell us a bit about how you got into music?

I’ve been into music since I can remember, to be honest. At the age of 9, I played the guitar and sang a lot, and at the age of 12 I discovered FruityLoops, and I’ve been making music every day since that point.

Give us a sense of the music scene where you are based.

Where I live the most dominant genres are Techno and Rock music, but people here are open-minded which gives other genres a chance to shine too.

Tell us about your studio set-up and gear.

I have a home studio packed with way too many microphones, midi keyboards, and cables. The 2 pieces I’m most proud of are my Adam Audio A5X monitors and my Korg Minilogue XD.

What are some of your key musical influences?

I’ve always been heavily influenced by Hip Hop, which you can hear in what bass sounds I use. My melodic side has been influenced by Coldplay and Destiny’s Child when I was young. I’ve always admired how they use and convey their emotions in tracks.

As an artist, how do you infuse your music with emotion?

Whenever I start a track, it’s always about the chords. The chords and melodies I put into my tracks really portray the emotions I feel at that point.

In your opinion, how has bass music evolved over the last few years?

I’d say pretty good! Producers are being influenced by different genres outside the EDM scene and are trying to mix these genres together which creates new and surprising sub-genres. Music is all about creativity so I’m a huge fan.

What has been a memorable highlight of your career so far?

First DJ set I did back in 2014. It was in my hometown at a big venue, in Ghent, nobody knew me or my music, but everybody went nuts and danced through my whole set! That’s really something I’m going to cherish forever.

Who do you look up to in the DJ world?

As a producer myself, with my background, I have a tendency to focus way much more on the production side of things. DJ-ing to me is a different kind of experience and a different kind of challenge. Producers that I admire and are DJ-ing too are Kito, TSHA, Salute, and Conducta.

If you weren’t a musician what would you be?

When I was younger I always wanted to be a trucker transporting pigs, which I would then release into the wild next to the highway. Now I’d say I’d probably be a vet assistant or have my own garage with lots of vintage motorcycles.

What can we expect from you in the near future? Any upcoming projects or gigs in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about?

I’ve been producing for other people for so long and now, I’m finally going to release LOTS of new music of my own. I’m very excited to put out music that is me, and it’s going to be with really dope labels!

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