2021 has got to be a year of hope, Polarface embody that hope. They are an independent platform for music in the UK looking to expand in 2021. Label to rising neo-soul starlet Safiyyah, promoter across the UK working with artists ranging from Mathilda Mann to DEJA and maybe soon, the platform for the next generation of Music TV. We had a chat with founder Jason Ngimbi to find out what’s going on and how they plan to take 2021 by storm.
Was it important for you to start out in Manchester before moving the brand to London?
Starting the label in Manchester was the best thing to do before I moved the brand to London. Manchester, to me, is up there as one of the best musical cities. The community spirit presented in that city is fantastic, and it was only right that I started the label there. I remember organising our first club night in Koh Toa, Fallowfield, and the support shown from the venue and my uni peers in Manchester was excellent. The support played a huge part for me to feel confident in Polarface. It’s only now it’s easy to organise live shows in London, but 3/4 years ago, it seemed like every London venue owner was difficult to negotiate. However, whenever I did shows in Manchester in the early days, I never felt that, and I always had tremendous support. The foundation I built in Manchester allowed me to take the Polarface brand to London and feel somewhat established, as a good following was built in my time living in Manchester.
Do you still look to support communities outside London?
Yeah, 100%. I’ve hosted shows in Manchester, Leeds, Bristol, and Brighton. I’ve never liked the idea of staying in one city. It was vital for me to understand that the other great musical cities other than London. I’ve met many great people when hosting shows in different regions, and I can’t wait to do it all over again when we can go back to live music. I got my goal set in Dublin and Paris, as I love those cities’ music community.
What is You’re Up Next and why are you crowdfunding for it?
You’re Up Next (YUN) is a contemporary music television show produced by Polarface. The reason we are running this Crowdfunder campaign is to attract financial backing for a new venture that will be supporting the wider music industry. YUN will showcase upcoming talent alongside more established artists. YUN will have performances, interviews, clips, and videos featuring artists from a broad and diverse range of Popular Music & Culture. YUN is the Millennial/Generation Z take on the classic music television format. As younger people are increasingly finding and sharing clips from these iconic shows, we have identified that the demand for televised live music is there. We believe that the time has come to take a fresh look at this tried and tested format for the online/demand generation.
What are you going to do if you don’t meet your crowdfunding target? OR How will you adjust your plans if you end up with less money than you expect?
With this question, all I’m going to say is that the show will happen!
What do you hope the impact of You’re Up Next will be?
Our goal is to create a platform that speaks directly to our generation while showcasing the very best musical talent. This will remain front and centre as YUN continues to develop. The End Goal: To be a leading contemporary music show for years to come.
Are there any other youtube shows you’re look at for inspiration in this series?
YUN are influenced by iconic shows such as Top of The Tops, Later Live With Jools Holland, The Tube, The Word, and The Old Grey Whistle Test.
What are your proudest achievements with Polarface thus far?
My proudest achievement is starting it! In the beginning, it’s terrifying to create a “business.” I’m pleased that I’m still going on, and some people respect what I do. What I do is hard and there’s a lot of risks involved. However, although it can be hard it’s something that I enjoy. The hard times is what makes me a stronger person. I’ve worked and still work with great artists and team members at Polarface. I’ve been able to develop my knowledge and education within music and media. Polarface has been a real help to me, and I look forward to seeing where it goes in the future.
Are there any other key people, maybe behind the scenes, who’ve made this project work so far?
Honourable mentions to Cheyenne, Chaz, Laura, and Keval. Furthermore, to great people who were key members in the past. I’ve been lucky to work with fantastic PR and Radio people who have done a great job to push our records to an audience. Also, I’m blessed to work with great venue owners who love supporting independent music. My relationships with them have presented me with opportunities to host live shows that have benefited from pushing the Polarface brand forward in the live industry.
What are your other plans for 2021?
I don’t want to say too much here. But I’m going day by day and just living in the present moment. I’m all about doing great intentions that can lead to opportunities. Ideas are running through my mind everyday and I plan to achieve them this year.
You can support their Crowdfunder until the 18th of February, find the link here.