After spending the last couple of years establishing a career within the Electronic Dance Music scene, working with such artists as Steve Aoki, Polina says Eminem has allowed her to go back to her roots.
"It's funny because I got into EDM by accident," Polina says in an exclusive interview with HipHopDX. "This Eminem record, a lot of my EDM fans would think that it's me stepping out of the genre. But as a matter of fact, I actually have singer-songwriter roots and this Eminem track is more kind of coming back to where I started 'cause I was a singer/songwriter in New York for a number of years, and then I got into dance."
While some may think Polina's work on "Legacy" was an overnight success in the Hip Hop and Pop worlds, the singer says it's been a longtime in the making. The songwriting journey behind "Legacy" began approximately two years ago, she says.
"I had a session set up with this writer, David Brook, in New York," she says of that time period. "We met each other and it was like a rainy day in New York, we were like, 'Let's go write a track, a piano ballad.' And this song kind of came out of nowhere, 'cause I was doing lots of dance bangers at that time. And we kind of didn't know what to do with that. And I was in the office of an Interscope executive a few months later, Neil Jacobson. I played him the song and he was like 'Don't play this for anyone. It's an Eminem record.' And the next week I was in the studio with ['Legacy' producer] Emile Haynie, who has worked with Kanye [West] and Eminem before. So Neil put his touch on the song. He edited some production, he sent it to Eminem. And then we got the word that Eminem was putting it on hold for the album and that he was cutting vocals for it...With albums like this, I think a lot of records get put on hold and you never know what's going to make the album or not. So literally, this is all happening in real time, I recently found out that the record is on the album, a few weeks ago. And it was a really great surprise that they also kept my vocals on it, which is actually funny because they never changed my vocals. Those are the original vocals that I laid in my little studio in New York."
It was actually on a plane ride to New York that she got official confirmation that her contributions to the Eminem's album were officially on The Marshall Mathers LP 2.
"The first time time I remember when I walked out of the office of Neil Jacobson, I called my co-writer in New York, David Brook," Polina says. "I said, 'You know I think we may have a song on the album, on the Eminem album.' It was really surreal because I'm a huge fan. And again we tried not to get too excited because again with albums like this, I think artists work on lots of, a big number of songs, and they get narrowed down to the final. Especially with someone like Eminem, he hasn't put out a record in a while so it's a very highly anticipated album. So we tried not to get our hopes up because we were really hoping and it was going to make it. So I remember, I just got off my European Asian tour, a month ago, and I got back to LA, and one of the first calls I got was literally from Neil Jacobson, saying, 'It looks like the song is on the album, and your vocal is on it. We'll have the confirmation next week." It was pretty surreal. And then I took a flight to New York, and then I landed. And I got a text saying that the album tracklisting has been released.And I went to Eminem's website and I saw "Legacy" the song that I cowrote and am singing on on the tracklisting. It was really crazy to actually see that it's actually happening. So I'm really extremely excited. I'm such a huge fan. And it's such a honor to be on a record with Eminem."
During the interview, Polina also discussed Eminem's legacy.
"I think it was probably really hard for him at first to be taken seriously [in Rap]," she says. "He's like this White boy who came out of nowhere, tried to be rap and be kind of goofy. And I think it really opened up, really kind of transcended the genre. And he kind of made it his own name in the genre. I mean at times, it feels like a Pop artist almost 'cause he's had so many tracks that are very emotional and kind of serious and some of the stuff is super goofy and fun. So I think in that sense, he's one of a kind. He's been able to take the audience and make them accept whatever it was he was in the mood for, whatever it was. But I think all of it, still always, whether it's fun or serious, he's always had a realness to it...I think that's why he's one of the biggest artists in the world 'til this day still."
Polina is readying a new single for her new album, though no title has been confirmed.
The Marshall Mathers LP 2 is out now.