Multi-hyphenate musician Polly Anna Rocha brings a lot more to the table than her dreampop bops. Rocha’s resume spans everything from comedy to lyric poetry.
With an EP slated for release this year, soon to be followed by a book that’s been years in the making, the prolific xicana artist is showing no signs of slowing down. An outspoken proponent of the Black Lives Matter movement, her activism includes using her talents to create music that reflects the current moment.
caught up with Rocha over email to talk Pride, identity and the sea change that 2020 is bringing on both an individual and collective level.
So much of Pride is the celebration of one’s identity and self. Between the cancelation of traditional Pride celebrations and the current Black Lives Matter activism being met with violence, what is Pride to you right now? What do you think it will look like this year?
To me, Pride is the culmination of community and action. It’s a time to honor our queer history and celebrate the many facets of the LGBTQ community.
Pride is also a reminder never to stop fighting for progress and equality as our ancestors did.
That said, I think Pride month will look like a roaring season of protests, this year, rather than the usual festival.
How do you feel your art impacts your community?
As a queer trans woman of color, I’d like to think my work has filled a gap in the local arts scene and hopefully opened the doors for others coming from similar backgrounds. I wanna show that trans women make music, we write poetry, we tell jokes. We’re dynamic artists, and I’m just one of so many amazing artists of trans experience that deserve the opportunity to share our talents.
What are you working on now?
Since about April, I’ve been recording an EP of post punk-inspired dreampop songs to be released later this year, including the EP’s first single “Please Stay,” now available on streaming platforms.
Additionally, my debut poetry collection, which I’ve been working on since 2015, is set to come out some time next year.
What do you think your music will look like in the future? How do you think the events of 2020 will shape it?
The closer we get to something resembling a revolution, the greater the stakes are for artists to record and reflect the times. I’ve already started working on a series of protest songs inspired by this current wave of civil unrest. It’s impossible not to feel affected and inspired to use my music to speak out, and I’ll only continue to do so as time goes on.
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