GFOTY (short for Girlfriend of the Year) aka Polly-Louisa is a British artist who rose to popularity back in 2013 when she launched her own blog giving tips on how to be the best girlfriend ever. Eventually, a blog became a music career when she became one of the first signed artists of the now legendary record label PC Music alongside A.G. Cook, Hannah Diamond and Sophie. Fast-forward to 2020 and GFOTY is now an indie artist who has amassed a loyal fanbase thanks to her unique sound, controversial live shows and punk spirit. 
After kicking off the year on a high with a sellout tour across Europe, she saw her plans for the rest of the year abruptly put on hold when coronavirus broke out and society went on lockdown. However, like so many other artists, she’s found new ways of creating and remaining productive using the Internet. The release of her new EP, Ham Chunks and Wine will be celebrated this Friday, May 29th via the avatar community Habbo Hotel, where in a variety of different virtual rooms, she will be performing as well as hosting performances by fellow artists and friends like Dorian Electra, Putochinomaricón, and Spinee among many others.
Hello Polly, how has the coronavirus lockdown been for you so far?
Lockdown has been fine most of the time. I’ve got super okay at playing the piano and I’ve been working out and eating loads of food. I’m trying to keep positive about the future. I think there’s too much pessimism around, which might be more realistic, but equally don’t think it’s very progressive or helpful. So it’s good to be optimistic about this situation for our own mental health.
What are you missing the most about ‘normal life’?
The thing I miss the most is also the thing I miss the least, which is paying £5 for a pint of beer! Very bittersweet.
On May 29th, you’re publishing the EP Ham Chunks and Wine. What’s the story behind the name?
Ham Chunks and Wine is about a love for partying but also the pains which come along with it, so things like occasional regret, the fear in the morning, and kind of wishing you could stay in a state of party mode and having no inhibitions all the time. But also, without any of the shit side effects like arguing with your boyfriend or feeling sad. The name came from a morning when I woke up super hungover and alone after getting in a fight with my boyfriend and not remembering why it had happened. Then, I went downstairs and noticed I had thrown up all over the floor. I had drunk red wine and ate ham the night before, so you can imagine the state…
Who have you worked with on this EP and what should we expect from it lyrically, sonically, visually…?
Well, the first single, Here with Me, is a sombre and relatable ballad. The other tracks are way more party vibes but all of them have an element of sadness to them. I shot another video for a song called Rid of All (produced by Count Baldor), which is coming out on the 3rd of June and that shows the other side of partying – that fun and crazy side where everyone is happy! But yes, the album takes you on that journey of going out partying and then waking up hungover in the morning basically.
Do you have a favourite song on the record and why?
Here With Me and Rid Of All, but let’s be honest, they are all perfect!
The first release off the EP was Here With Me. It really is quite a departure from the sound we usually associate with you. What’s this song about?
It was the first single I released from this EP and it was produced by my friend and amazing musician Jerskin Fendrix. The song is about a journey of going out, a night out perhaps, or a lifetime of going out. It’s the last track on the EP, so it’s really the closure or the ending to the night out, waking up in the morning, and wishing you were still there, in a moment.
Aside from your own EP, you’ve released a bunch of collaborations this year. For example, the latest is a remix of Stupid Horse by 100 gecs. Tell us a bit about that remix and what do you tend to look for when doing collaborations?
I was so happy when Dylan and Laura (100 gecs) asked me to remix Stupid Horse as it’s the most ‘me song’ on their whole album! Me and Count Baldor had a sick time making it and shooting the video was fun too! I’d love to say that when doing collaborations that I know that me and the other artist have a similar artistic vision, but saying that there have been many times where I’ve thought to myself, let’s do something out of the box with someone I’ve never worked with before, or even would occasionally do a song with a fan, it’s nice to know people like what I do, so am always interested to see what someone I would not usually ever work with, or have a relationship with, would do with my voice.
For the release of this EP you've decided to host an online festival, tell us a bit what it’s about.
If you go on to, you’ll find all the info about how to get involved, but essentially, it is a 10-room festival on (basically, a pirate Habbo site) which is a world of all things GFOTY. You can have a coffee at GFOTYBUCKS, hang out in the club GFOTY’s bathrooms, dance in the GFOTY stadium, and so much more. And I’ve got good friends of mine playing too, like Dorian Electra, Putochinomaricón, Count Baldor, Spinee and loads of other artists I love! It’s gonna be wild. Please come!
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Why have you decided to host it in a Habbo Hotel site, and in what other ways have you been connecting with fans?
The original Habbo Hotel was a huge part of my teen life! I was a bit of a catfish though, I used to pretend I was a hot habbo boy and would be going out with girls. I’ve also been doing a few live streams here and there, and occasionally getting a bit drunk and going on Iingstam live on a Friday night, but then waking up and being like, what the fuck, Polly?
Artists from across all fields have been hit pretty hard by the crisis. What’s been the hardest of all of this for you as an artist?
Not being able to tour for sure. I had plans to go to Australia and the United States this year – among other things… It’s also a super big part of me to meet new people and throw parties and ideas around, which I find you can’t completely replicate on a phone call or a Zoom party. Fingers are so crossed so we can all get back to what we love soon.
What changes do you reckon there’ll be or should be when it comes to live concerts and the way musicians work and make money in the future? Any suggestions on what other artists should be doing?
To be honest, I don’t even want to think about it – maybe that’s irresponsible, but being pessimistic about the future isn’t helping me right now! My suggestions are to take it slowly and find something you love to do and make yourself do that thing once a day, at least only just for ten minutes.
Do you have any plans for the rest of 2020?
Working on my album, having my birthday, and hopefully playing at least one show somewhere!