Polartropica Becomes A Modern Pop Hero With “GIVE THEM HELL (Serial Killer Slayer)”

Everyone loves a good superhero, but for women, people of color, and members of the LGBT community, it’s not always easy to find a hero that makes them feel seen. The multi-talented Taiwanese-American Polartropica (she/they) sets out to change that with “GIVE THEM HELL (Serial Killer Slayer),” a rallying battle cry against oppression, objectification, and the ignorance that lets these things thrive in a modern era that should have already seen them stomped out. Equally thoughtful and gritty, the track feels like the result of a jam session between friends, sharing an emotional conversation about tough topics and channeling their anger into a forward-thinking garage band.

“‘GIVE THEM HELL’ is about fighting back with all that you’ve got when in a place or moment of danger,” Polartropica tells TREMG. “For femmes and queers around the world, this is an unfortunate reality that can be a life-threatening situation in a physical space or in the form of laws or governments that not only fail to protect women, queers, trans folks but put them in even more danger.”

Born Ihui (pronounced ee-way) Cherise Wu, Polartropica is dedicated to standing up for what’s right, boosting fellow members of underrepresented groups up with her along the way. The kitschy “GIVE THEM HELL” music video is the perfect example, seeing Polartropica and a group of friends become the colorful everyday superheroes we all need. 

“It was such a dream to work with my queer crew of incredibly talented friends and craft all of their superhero characters based on what they do in real life,” Polartropica gushes. “The entire video was filmed in 2 days all over Los Angeles with an extra afternoon for sweet baby Kylo, who played 3 of the superhero’s baby character origin stories. We had so much fun on set, the schedule was packed and I still can barely believe we made it through!”

(c) Olivia Hemaratanatorn

It hasn’t even been two years since Polartropica dropped their debut album, Dreams Come True, but she’s already made so much progress in fighting for her dreams, no matter what odds may be stacked against her. Whether you’re listening to their earliest 2020 tracks or more recent works like “GIVE THEM HELL,” you can tell Polartropica pours their heart into any project they pursue.

“I have so much love in my heart, and I am just so grateful for my incredible team, collaborators, friends, and beloved fans for believing in me,” she shares. “Some of you have been with us from day 1!! Just supporting me and this dream project in so many ways – coming out to shows, our tour dates, and making them so fun over the past few years so that I could keep making music and art for the world.  Much more magic to come, and I’m beyond proud to represent my Taiwanese-American heritage and the queer community in any way I can.”

You can find “GIVE THEM HELL (Serial Killer Slayer)” on your favorite streaming services now, and get to know Polartropica on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and her official website! Keep reading for more from our interview with the fierce singer-songwriter.


Congrats on your new single, “GIVE THEM HELL (Serial Killer Slayer)!” How does it feel to finally let the song out into the world?

Thank you! It feels like a giant, sparkling fireball has exploded from my heart into the world – I’m so happy that my sweet fans have been enjoying the new punk rock track that is a bit of a fiery departure from our usual dream-pop world. 

What does “GIVE THEM HELL” mean to you?

“GIVE THEM HELL” is about fighting back with all that you’ve got when in a place or moment of danger – for femmes and queers around the world, this is an unfortunate reality that can be a life-threatening situation in a physical space or in the form of laws or governments that not only fail to protect women, queers, trans folks but put them in even more danger.   

Is there a certain lyric from “GIVE THEM HELL” that you’re particularly proud of?

There is a group shout section of the song that repeats 3 times: “I don’t give a F#$& about ‘what’s his name.’” That is really powerful when we perform the song live with everyone shouting together 🙂 it is also a reminder to stop glorifying serial killers and honor the hundreds of thousands of women that lost their lives and their families that miss them very much. The mantra is sort of like in Harry Potter where Voldemort is referred to as “the one who shall not be named.”  

Alongside “GIVE THEM HELL,” you released a colorful music video that follows a group of queer superheroes. What was the planning process like, and what was it like on set?

It was such a dream to work with my queer crew of incredibly talented friends and craft all of their superhero characters based on what they do in real life. The entire video was filmed in 2 days all over Los Angeles with an extra afternoon for sweet baby Kylo, who played 3 of the superhero’s baby character origin stories. We had so much fun on set, the schedule was packed and I still can barely believe we made it through!  

It was so fun to reunite with director Wes O’Connor who previously played Danny Zuko’s character in our gay remake of Grease for the “In Another Life” music video and directed Wild Lyfe, and our dear friend director Yoko Okumura who plays superhero street fighter Neon Matcha in ‘Give Them Hell’ but also directed our very first Polartropica music video ‘Light Up the Sky’ and made the short film ‘Lexical Gap’ that we scored the riot grrrl soundtrack for, and invited us to play the premiere party that ultimately inspired us to write this punk rock anthem.  

Your sound is a really cool fusion of pop, rock, and electro. Who are some artists who have influenced you? 

Thank you!  St. Vincent, Rihanna, M.I.A., Radiohead, The Sounds, Britney Spears, My Chemical Romance, Electric Light Orchestra, Björk, AIR, early Muse. 

You describe your music as having “just the right amount of disco-party.” If you were throwing a disco party with your own songs as the soundtrack, which songs would make the playlist?

Definitely “Disco Daydream,” “In Another Life,” “Can’t Hold Us Back,” a chill dreamy dance moment with “Summertime,” and a few blasts from the past: “Light Up the Sky” and “Radiobread!”

How do you feel you’ve grown as an artist since releasing your debut album, Dreams Come True, in 2020?

It has definitely felt like an epic journey since the debut album ~ I’ve been surrounded by so many artists since the quarantine and just so inspired by art, murals, film, costuming and also sports these couple of years through my girlfriends and QTBIPOC artist community in LA and beyond.  

In addition to being a queer artist, you were born in Taiwan and raised in California. What has it been like to defy expectations and break through as both a person of color and a member of the LGBT community? 

I have so much love in my heart, and I am just so grateful for my incredible team, collaborators, friends, and beloved fans for believing in me – some of you have been with us from day 1!!  Just supporting me and this dream project in so many ways – coming out to shows, our tour dates, and making them so fun over the past few years so that I could keep making music and art for the world.  Much more magic to come, and I’m beyond proud to represent my Taiwanese-American heritage and the queer community in any way I can.   

We at TREMG love getting to know new artists who haven’t gotten the success or attention they deserve. Who are some of your favorite underrated artists at the moment?

Some of my favorite artists at the moment are Achuray, Bakpak Durden, Manley, Asha Moné… There is a whole collection of incredibly talented, cool QTBIPOC artists on @squidtropica IG, I recommend checking out as well! 

What can your fans look forward to in the rest of 2022?

We will be releasing some sparkly new singles from the upcoming record, we have some incredible immersive live show experiences in the works as well as cute sporty merch, and fingers crossed for a sweet little tour later this year 🙂 

Is there anything else you’d like to mention that the questions didn’t touch on?

Have an awesome day!! Eat your favorite fruit, say hi to your pet, hug a friend, and smile at the sky when you get a chance! 

One response to “Polartropica Becomes A Modern Pop Hero With “GIVE THEM HELL (Serial Killer Slayer)””

  1. […] their lyrics like never before. Throughout March, we got to talk to incredible artists like Maryze, Polartropica, Amy Jay, Niklaus Romero, Geneviève Racette, and burwell about their new projects, but there’s a […]

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