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Polartropica Creates a Queer 'Grease' Motif for 'Another Life' Video: Premiere

POLARTROPICA
Olivia Hemaratanatorn

POLARTROPICA

Polartropica isn't skimping on ambition while making videos for the upcoming album Dreams Come True -- including a trilogy that begins with the Grease-inspired clip for "Another Life," premiering exclusively below. 

"We're making, like, a mini Lemonade," Ihui Cherise Wu, aka Polartropica, tells Billboard, referencing, of course, Beyonce's 2016 visual masterwork. "I had a story to tell that was too long for just one music video, so we created a trilogy."

Directed by Stephanie Kim, "Another Life" is part of a time-travel motif that will run across the LGBTQ-centric trilogy. "It's like how history repeats itself in different eras, different time periods," Wu explains. "There's sort of a continuity. We have the same struggles with love and people fighting each other that didn't have to." Wu promises that the trilogy's resolution will be "empowering," while "Another Life" -- featuring Tess O'Connor as Danny to Wu's Sandy -- is "the dream, a fantasy of a nostalgic past recreated for today. There will be the same characters throughout -- the time is just going to change."

Wu says she and the trilogy's directors were also careful to make sure to let all of the cast members be authentic to who they are in real life. "What you see on screen...like, that's (O'Connor) wearing her own clothes," Wu says. "The same with the dancers; Some of them actually thanked me, 'Thank you for not making me butch.' I just think in traditional music video and film writing there's very strict gender roles people have to play, and the fun thing about this first part of the trilogy is everyone can play themselves, but in this fantasy world in a sense."

Wu expects that Polartropica will have the Dreams Come True album -- the group's first full-length release, recorded in Tulsa, Okla. -- out by late summer or early fall. Wu and her live band have been playing some of the melodic, synth-drenched 10-track set in concert, and she's excited to finally bring it out into the world at large. 

"It's been a really full journey," Wu says. "This album kind of celebrates everything I set out to do, everything I wanted to say, everything that's happened during the last three and a half, four years that I've been doing this. It's all about 'follow your dream, don't give up, even when things are hard, do what your heart is telling you to do, your calling.' That's really something I want to help people manifest, and hopefully the music can inspire that in them."

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