Meet Margot Polo

Location: USA

*What inspired the latest track?

In a nut-shell, I was (as I know so many people were) experiencing immense struggle with a whole slew of things that were going on in the U.S. and the world, all while being locked-down in quarantine. Fires in California, political turmoil, boredom, fear, losing multiple family members and friends, uncertain future, COVID 19! (And so many other things). It all weighed down on me. So, I attempted to put some of that feeling into the song. Calling out and yearning to be heard, comforted, loved. Needing to be told everything will be ok—that we’ll make it through all of this! The process of working out all aspects of this song ended up being part of the therapy I needed to make it past the struggle of last year. 

*How has the songwriting process evolved from when you started?

When I started working on the songs that would become the first Margot Polo singles, I had delved fully into the world of samples, loops, VSTs and all manner of “in-the-box” songwriting/music production. As time has gone on, I’ve shifted back into a space where I intentionally leave more room for live, acoustic, human elements. Things like a jangly, perhaps not fully in-tune acoustic guitar, vocals/vocal performances that are a bit more raw, etc. My process still often includes working in the computer to develop songs, and I still employ a lot of the same tools that I started using several years ago, however, now I feel like I’ve been able to swing back to a place that includes both sides: the organic and synthetic. 

*Where did the name come from?

Years ago, I started writing down punny names that I could read off as jokes to my friends. Names that could be used as artist or band names like, “The Rolling Scones” or “Donald Trumpet.” 99.9% cheesy dad-joke type ideas, meant entirely to (attempt to) make people laugh. One of the earliest ones was, of course, “Margot Polo” (it being a silly play on the 13th-century Italian trader and explorer, Marco Polo–but also, my favorite childhood swimming pool game). I thought it was kind of funny and catchy and it sounded cool, so I went with it.

*What keeps you pumped and going forward?
Discovering new samples and sounds, having new experiences, taking my dog on walks, getting to go to live shows again, exploring a new city (my wife and I just moved to Los Angeles!).

*Vinyl, CD or Digital?  (which do you prefer)?

That’s tough. I love CDs for their quality and how nostalgic they make me feel, and vinyl records for the intention they require from a listener. But digital has changed so much about the industry, for better or worse, and how we interact with music, share it, sell it, listen to it, and how incredibly convenient it is. So, I guess I’d have to say Digital!

“I know I’m not unique in feeling this but 2020 was easily one of the most difficult years of my life. An incredible struggle, to say the least. But getting to work out all of the words and music to this song, Can You Hear Me?, was such a wonderfully therapeutic and satisfying experience. I didn’t start doing yoga or learn how to bake sourdough bread or anything, but I got to write, record, produce and mix a song that I’m really proud of and am excited to share.”

Margot Polo

*Personal mantra or quote that serves to inspire you?

I have a few but since I often feel plagued by self-doubt and imposter-syndrome, this one really helps me: Fake it till you make it!

*How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected you as an artist?

When I first started writing many years ago, my songs were nearly 100% confessional. Then, as I got older and dove into pop music and audio production, etc., I got more interested in fictional narratives and ideas, abstraction and escapism in songwriting—so, almost nothing personal. Since the pandemic, however, I really have been opening back up again and writing from a much more personal space. I’ve been a lot more vulnerable and honest with my music. 

*Once things go back to full normal, what’s your dream venue (festival, show, etc)?

There’s certainly quite a few that I could call my “dream shows” but definitely Radiohead at Madison Square Garden is one!

*One band or artist that you would recommend in a heartbeat?

Might seem obvious for me since there’s some heavy influences on my new single but: Tame Impala. One of my absolute faves. Kevin Parker, who is essentially a one-man band, is an insanely talented songwriter and producer and TI’s entire catalogue 

Kevin Parker of Tame Impala

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