Ok, full disclosure, I did not know Polina Grace when my partner in crime Joey Franco suggested that we should feature her in our magazine. Having fallen prey to the innumerable clichés about beautiful singers / models, I was not prepared for the poised, intelligent and determined young woman that I met. Warning, world, the full Polina effect is enthralling and powerful!
Polina was born in Russia in a family in which family dinners must have resembled a United Nations summit! Her father was born in East Germany, her mother was born in Indonesia from Russian parents and her younger sister was born in the United States. They are all Russian but Polina is the only one actually born in Russia. The family moved to Vancouver when she was 12.
She acknowledges the privilege that she had to travel the world as a child and credits this part of her life for giving her a broader scope on the world, “I was never about frivolous activity, even as a child, I was always questioning my place in the world.”
Feeling the need to expand her horizons, she decided to leave Vancouver to pursue her studies. “It was about change and independence. Vancouver represented my teenage years, I felt that to grow and become an adult, I needed to leave the nest and be somewhere else”, she admits.
“My father recommended Montreal for its diversity and culturally vibrant environment” she says. The fact that she already spoke French, as well as English, Russian and Spanish, allowed her to fully embrace the unique character of her new home.
Following in her father’s footsteps she enrolled in a business program in university. `”Neither of my parents where in music or had a background in the arts,” she states, “it was only halfway through university that I decided that I wanted to pursue a career in music.” This didn’t stop her from finishing her degree and enrolling in an MBA program
I had to ask why someone with the obvious intelligence, character and education to be successful at any career she chose, would want to take on the demanding and often thankless world of entertainment : “I can’t get away from it. I love it so much.I’ve loved singing since I was a kid. I would lock myself up in my room and sing. I would imitate Aretha Franklin.”,she remembers.
Her educational background has given her an all encompassing view of the music business. “I have always been very academic. I am more academic than most artists I know and on the
other hand I’m much more creative than most academics I know. I believe that having those two worlds collide could be beneficial in this industry”, she says.
Her songs are often about empowerment and the search for your own identity, mirroring her quest to follow her own path while doing right by the people she loved and respected. “My Dad and I had many hours of discussions because he didn’t understand my need to be a singer. He has since become very supportive of my choices,” she confides
Her quest has been anything but easy, “It took a lot of effort and time to find the right people to work with and surround myself with a team that believes in me, particularly since I started with no ins whatsoever in this industry” she adds. She believes that she has now assembled the right team to attain her objectives.She is currently working with multiple musicians and writers in an effort to record a full album that will bring her closer to the record label deal she needs to get to the next level in her career.
Her obvious musical talent combined with her strong stage presence and her successful modelling career will certainly catch the ears and eyes of the record industry. I believe the Polina Grace brand will soon break out for the planet to hear and see and I am glad I was able to sit and chat with this brilliant artist and marketer before the rest of the world catches on!