GiGi Polar is a melodic trap artist from Switzerland who’s currently based in London and in his second year at BIMM Institute. For him, making music is like a therapy session where he can put all his emotions in his songs. With his first gig in London coming up in the Moustache Bar in Dalston on November 12, we chat to him about the process in making a song, the best advice he can give to himself, and more…
Words: Iris Beek
Images: Alessandro Tornillo
You have your first London gig coming up, how are you feeling about that?
“Honestly, I feel a bit anxious about it but at the same time I’m really excited for it. It’s my first gig [here] so I don’t know how people here will react to my music. In Switzerland I performed at local festivals in my hometown and the reactions there were very different. But I feel that the people in London are more into the music that I make, so I just hope that people will love it, although more of an artist who loves to be in the studio instead of being on stage.”
How did you exactly start making music?
“I started making music when I was 13 years old. Obviously, I wouldn’t be making music if it wasn’t fun, but most of it comes from my own emotions. Recently I wrote a song and after I wrote it, I realised what I’d been doing. I went through a relationship which was bad; I realised how my behaviour was. So sometimes writing is a therapy session for me. When I write a new song, I learn more things about myself.”
How did you come up with the name GiGi Polar?
“My mum always used to call me Gigi, it’s a family nickname. Polar comes from the polar bear, which has always been one of my favourite animals. I thought the mix of these two names fitted well and I always found it fascinating how polar bears survive in a cold environment. This reflects the theme in my songs which are a bit dark, so you can also consider them a bit ‘cold’.”
How would you describe your music in one sentence?
“A snapshot of emotions in a certain moment.”
What’s your process in making a song?
“Sometimes I get ideas for melodies, so I just record it on my phone then, or with lyrics I write it down in my Notes. But I always start with the beat, and most of the time I just play something with the instruments and then I process with the sounds until I like it. But sometimes I have some friends playing guitar loops, so it’s different for every song that I make.”
You recently released a new single ‘Caught Up’ – what’s the message on that song?
“I made ‘Caught Up’ back when I was in Switzerland. It’s about unhealthy and mixed relationship issues and being on the grind pursuing in what you want to do. It’s also about not caring what other people think and sticking with your friends. It was my life situation back then, me being ‘Caught Up’ in all of that.”
You’re very personal with your music. Does it feel weird to tell your personal stories to the rest of the world?
“The songs I’ve dropped so far aren’t that personal yet, so it’s kind of hard to say. But I have a couple of songs where I’m questioning myself if I should release them or not; that’s just the truth, that’s how it is. I want to be honest, so that people can relate to my stories.”
What is your favourite song that you’ve written so far – and the least favourite?
“My favourite song is ‘Die Young’, because of the music video. That song has a special place in my heart because all my friends came to shoot the video. The director is yongboyneverdie from Taiwan, and he reached out to me on Instagram and asked me if I wanted to shoot a music video. It was a very fun and cool experience. My least favourite is the first song I ever made and I took down [from the ‘net] afterwards. My writing back then wasn’t good as it is now, and it was in German as well, it was old-school – and I was just 13. When I look back to it was just very cringy.”
We’ve all been there when we were 13! Is there an artist you would love to collab with?
“Bruno Mars! I don’t know how that would fit but it would be very cool. I grew up with his music, he’s a childhood inspiration to me and his catchy melodies are very cool. But when it comes to hip-hop, I think Yung Lean would be also very cool to collab with, he inspired my melodic rap style.”
What’s one piece of advice that that you would give to yourself or to other people?
“Stop overthinking. I feel like a lot of people are struggling with that, including myself. I know that people don’t care about what I do, but then it’s me who can’t stop thinking: ‘Why did I do that?’’
What can we expect from you in the future?
“Loads more music. I’ve got a collab coming out this month with my brother Coco Lee-On and my friend ThiefInTheNight. In general you can expect a refined and evolved version of GiGi Polar. I’m mostly excited to release what’s been on my current hard drive for way too long because I feel like my current catalogue doesn’t fully represent me.”
Find GiGi’s music on Spotify, and on November 12 he’ll play his first live gig in London at the Moustache Bar in Dalston with Voulou, Benjamin Watts, Yung Zilo, Jed Payne and more. Want to come along? Get your tickets right here!