Women in Music 2016

Singer Polly A Delivers Carefree Gem 'Like We Used To': Premiere

Courtesy Photo
Polly A

Singer/songwriter Polly A (formerly known as Meleni Smith) returns with a road trip-ready jam called "Like We Used To" off her forthcoming Ghetto Gold Dream EP, arriving on Aug. 26 via Interscope Records.

"Oh, right now, I wanna spend time on cheap wine and do things I know I won't regret, oh man/ Maybe who knows? I'll find my guts, I'll find my freedom/ I'll do things I know I won't forget," she sings on the Cinematic-produced track.

Raised in Milwaukee, Polly's childhood stereo was flooded with a mix of reggae (thanks to her mom's West Indian and Jamaican roots) and East Coast-based hip-hop a la Notorious B.I.G. and Wu-Tang Clan. Her fascination with New York culture ("It was just rugged, raw and just very in your face," she says) also led her to study music at Columbia University. 

Polly A Talks 'Ghetto Gold Dream' EP & J. Cole's 'Crooked Smile': Watch

Polly A eventually scribed for the likes of Alicia Keys (2009's "Love is My Disease") and J. Cole (2013's "Crooked Smile") and even inked a deal with Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine's label 222 Records. "Maroon 5 was actually in town that night at Madison Square Garden and I got a text from Adam like, 'Yo just heard Ghetto Gold Dream, this is amazing. Come to the show,'” she tells Billboard of meeting Levine. "It was pretty organic. He was like, 'I just wanna start this label 'cause I just wanted to put artists on and help them kind of avoid some of the things I had to go through as a new artist.' It was just dope."

The title Ghetto Gold Dream harps on perseverance, a recurring theme in Polly A's life. "Even though I come from humble beginnings, I didn’t have all access to money or whatever to just do whatever I want. I’m still gonna take this vision as far as I can take it," she says. "It’s kinda the like juxtaposition of not having a lot but flipping it and making it a reality no matter where you come from."

Vibe out to the feel-good track "Like We Used To" and bookmark her forthcoming tour dates with musician/songwriter Selah Sue below. 

Sept 12 - Toronto, ON - The Great Hall

Sept 15 - Quebec City - L’Imperial Bell

Sept 18 - Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer

Sept 19 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom

Sept 23 - Washington DC - U Street Music Hall

Sept 24 - Boston, MA - Brighton Music Hall