Welcome to our new feature, Magic Touch. In this irregular series, we'll be interviewing some of our favourite up-and-coming producers from all over the world, seeing what makes them tick and gaining an insight into their production techniques.

Polar Youth is a 20-year-old producer from Gent, Belgium, whose name is Elisabeth. The music she makes is future-facing, bass-heavy, trap-infused stuff – it's awash with glorious triumphal synth chords, glistening bleepsome clusters, and collections of ornamented, rolling percussion; indeed, a love of styles like trap and future bass permeates her sound, but even though she's racked up many thousands of plays on SoundCloud, Polar is still searching for a truly signature sound. We asked the producer about her style, how she got into music, and what she's aiming for.




What made you want to start making music?

It's as if it already was my intention to make music since I was born. I started playing guitar at a very young age. I just played very simple chords and sang on it, that's really when I knew that music was going to be a very important part of my life. When I was twelve years old I read on the internet that I could produce music on the computer and then I discovered Fl Studio. I thought, if I produced my own songs, then I would probably think it's perfect and that was my goal. With all the ideas in my head I tried to achieve that goal but now I realize it's far more complicated than that. I've really been a perfectionist these past few months, so I'm still trying to achieve that goal when I'm in the studio.

How has your sound developed since you first began producing?

At the very beginning I had no idea what I wanted to make. I just wanted to make something. I did listen to a lot of Dubstep and Drum and Bass when I was twelve so I started with Dubstep. Between the age of twelve and seventeen I produced a lot of different genres. Dubstep, House, Hardstyle, Drum and Bass etc.

Now, by listening to a lot of music of different genres I get new ideas, and keep developing my sound design, learning new techniques. The music I make isn't based on someone else's music. It's based on how I feel. If I feel sad I won't be able to make funky, happy music for instance. I've learned a lot during my 7-8 years of making music but I still have some struggles because I want to have my own style of music and I haven't found it yet. A lot of people tell me that there's already a Polar Youth touch in all of my songs but I would like it to evolve more (produce more Trap, work with singers etc.)

What DAW do you use and why?

I've worked with Fl Studio for almost 8 years and I'm very grateful with the support they've given me. It certainly is a good DAW to start with. Now I'm experimenting with different genres and also with Ableton to expand my boundaries and learn new things. I also have a better workflow now thanks to Ableton and I'm also going to translate that into my productions.

What is your favourite sound to put into a track?

It depends from track to track. I love to put real instruments in my songs. I love the combination between the electronic sounds and the real instruments that give the warmth and organic feeling to the song.

Is there a particular style you've always wanted to make but haven't, for whatever reason?

Real heavy Trap. Because I play it a lot when I'm doing DJ sets and I'd love to play as much of my own songs. It's difficult to make people dance at 3am if I play songs like mine for instance. I'm experimenting with Trap and Twerk but with my own Polar Youth touch so you can expect more heavy productions in the future.

Who are your favourite producers?

My taste for music is very wide. I can appreciate Trap as much as I can appreciate Jazz for instance. RL Grime is definitely one of my favourites. There's not one song I dislike. His productions are so heavy and good. I really look up to that guy. Wave Racer is the one who made me love Future Bass and convinced me to start producing it too. Tchami certainly belongs in my list too. I'm a huge fan of Deep House, or as it's been called lately, Future House. I've always loved the rhythm and interaction between the kick and the bass. Tchami's sounds are so on point.

Are there any singers or musicians you'd love to work with?

There are a few, yes. Soon I'm going to release songs with amazing singers but I can't say more than that right now. Tokimonsta is definitely someone I want to work with. She's been a huge inspiration for me. It would be interesting to work with her because her style is very experimental so I know her knowledge of music is very wide too. I also appreciate her as a DJ because I went to see her not so long ago. She can perfectly mix House with Hip Hop with Reggae etc.

The most important things about my songs right now are the harmonies and mix between the different instruments. If I had a time machine I would gladly hang out with Mozart for a day.

More and more people are venturing into the world of production. Why do you think this is?

It's easier and cheaper than before. You don't need a professional studio to record. Also if you're new you can easily go on the internet and find information about production. All you need is knowledge and money to buy the DAW you want to use.

Any technical tips or production tricks for budding producers?

I know this sounds very cliché but work hard everyday and release your music only if you're really happy about it. Just be yourself, don't copy another producer's sound. Develop your own sound, just go for it!

What, aside from other music, most inspires you?

I actually have no idea where my inspiration comes from. When I start to produce a song I never think about it, I just let my feelings guide me through the production process. There's maybe one thing that helps me find some inspiration and that's hanging out with my chickens and my duck. I just sit in the garden with them and relax. Being relaxed helps.

How do you think the future looks for producers?

I think the future looks very good. More and more people can start making music; it's easier to start. But the downside of this is that it's going to be more difficult to stand out because the quality of music is going to improve. For me, personally, I hope I can keep learning and evolve but most important, keep making music.


We think you should check out Polar Youth's latest mix, Early Late: