Polartropica is the musical moniker of Ihui Cherise Wu, a space-pop artist born in Taiwan and raised right here in California. She took the name from the song "Polartropic" by Mark Foster, as she was fascinated by the fact that you couldn't nail the tune down using conventional genre definitions. That's how she wanted her own music to be seen.
Wu is debuting the song "Golden Soul" with L.A. Weekly, and that's quite an honor as it's a very personal piece of work about a friend who is missing after becoming addicted to opioids.
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"I wrote 'Golden Soul' watching someone close to me struggle through opioid addiction and the devastating effects it has had on the family and everyone connected," Wu says. "We got a call from Ava the day Trump got elected to office, and have not seen her since. When a trusted doctor prescribed Oxycontin for a back injury from horseback riding 10 years ago, no one would have known that it would slowly devolve into a full-on heroin addiction. Now, we see in the news every day that entire communities are destroyed by this. On one hand, you're fighting this incredibly heartbreaking and constant internal battle, while at the same time navigating responsibilities, stigma, family, the lack of resources available for treatment, especially for those not financially able to check into a privatized comprehensive treatment facility. The relationship with an addict comes from a place of love, and morphs into a whole other form of codependency, and the cycle continues.
"We are dedicating 'Golden Soul' to Ava and anyone with friends or family members struggling with opioid addiction. This is a nationwide epidemic that needs to be properly addressed, both in the way we view this addiction and from the pharmaceutical and lawmaking levels. Responsibility needs to be taken upon individuals and companies who are approving, making, promoting, administering opioid painkillers, and are continuing to do so, while disregarding all of the evidence we now have showing that there is a potentially dangerous outcome when prescribed carelessly."