Catching up with POLO amidst the lockdown!
2020 has been the year that totally threw out the rule book. Some of it has been for good – we stayed home, we saved lives and we reconnected. And some has been so outrageous it helped us realise the rules as the majority of us knew them needed to be dismantled, disrupted and entirely changed.
It’s the time for honesty and recognition. For intelligent rebellion that holds our own actions accountable and make safe, valid spaces for events that can no longer be ignored.
So, we spoke to Polo.
Leeds’ hardest working trio haven’t stopped just because the world is on hold. Now more than ever, we’ve seen Kat, Luke and Dan use their individual and collective platforms to champion things other than independent music.
They’ve championed the LGBTQ+ community since day one, and have taken the time to acknowledge and show respect to BAME artists in their imagery and visualisation of concept. And they’re still learning, respecting and growing – committing 100% of their streaming income in June 2020 to ‘Know Your Rights Camp’, a legal defence initiative helping those without access to equal representation.
It’s not the first time Polo have spoken up. Their most recent single, ‘Witch Hunt’ is a sharp, isolated track with a clear message about the preservation of our environment.
‘It’s a topic we all feel strongly about, and one that’s ever-present in band discussions and conversations. We’ve started writing songs remotely, and that’s something we’ve never done before… so the content we’ve made and shown during isolation has just kind of went from there, really. It’s interesting working in that new manor, but we’ve had plenty of fun doing it.’
Polo are proud to have partnered with Tipping Point, and since then have been the recipients PPL Momentum funding, alongside an amazing Northern line up. And of course, when it comes to giving advice to other artists in finding support, they’re huge advocates of unsigned artists finding a way to use their platforms to a bigger audience.
‘We certainly wouldn’t be where we are now without the support of Tipping Point, or the likes of BBC Introducing. Signing was a milestone in our career; they allowed us to realise a number of ideas we’d been sat on for a long time. Likewise with BBC Introducing, their continuous support has helped us promote every one of our tracks, and kept us in the loop with other local artists‘.
We’re over the moon about the support. We’ve just received funding from the Leeds City College Arts Fund, so it’s been a pretty crazy month for us.
As for advice, I’d say it’s easy for artists to be unengaged with the industry side of things. However being savvy and clued up only makes you stronger as band. Attend conferences, read articles, make contacts, take the time to build relationships and don’t shy away from long applications!’
Information about Know Your Rights Camp can be found here: https://www.knowyourrightscamp.com/
And information about how to write your local MP about issues of racial inequality in regards to the Black Lives Matter movement have been highlighted in Polo’s post, here: https://twitter.com/PoloMusicUK/status/1267902514688602113?s=20
Music loving Geordie with a soft spot for cassettes and vinyl.
If you’re in an unsigned band, I’m probably your biggest fan.
Mid-twenties (so, 100 in gig-going years).