As it’s now officially summertime, it’s no surprise that an artist who describes their sound as “total abandon – like a long summer Saturday” caught our attention. Electro pop with a distinctly 80’s vibe, Baby Raptors is the warm weather, long days aesthetic we’ve been looking for. The concept of Baby Raptors comes from New York artist Tora, who we chatted with about her new single ‘I Am My Only Love’, her time performing at SXSW, and working with producer and fellow New Yorker Party Supplies.
Can you use a combination of 2-3 well-known songs to describe the sound of ‘I Am My Only Love’?
I can’t think of a combination, although I have heard repeatedly that it reminds people of Madonna’s ‘Holiday’.
What was the experience like working with Party Supplies?
Such an incredibly unique individual. His creativity is truly fluid and it is never forced – it just flows out of him. He has such a profound respect for the music that he chooses to create, nothing is ever a “throw away”. We have a great chemistry and it became a volley of ideas, mostly steeped in 80’s influence. He also is like an encyclopedia of music. You could pick out a sound in a record and he could name you ten references of other songs that feature something similar. Probably a combination of a true passion and quite a bit of genius.
How would you describe your overall sound? What’s the feeling you want listeners to get from it?
The Baby Raptors sound is a harmonious blend of vibrating synths, electro pads and drums, pure pop vocals and sing-along riffs. Listeners should have a feeling of happy nostalgia listening to it, both in the sense that it reminds them of simple childhood summers and also simple and real pop music. In a way it’s sort of selfish music – it’s fun and upbeat enough to share but I have found most listeners prefer to slap on a big pair of headphones and walk, letting the music and the accompanying nostalgia steep in their minds.
You told 1883 magazine that “the concept of [you] being the only one in the video as different variations of [yourself]” was “a play on the title.” Can you tell us a little more about that?
‘I Am My Only Love’ is a straightforward concept that at the end of the day, there’s just you. And in life there will probably be many variations of yourself – as you transform as a person through relationships with others and with yourself. So in the video I brought to light all these different sides of me, there’s a warrior princess and a flower-power child, a vixen rock star and just a young lost girl running through empty terrain. That concept really plays into the Baby Raptors concept itself. I call myself Baby Raptors (plural) because I’m not just one person existing on one plane of identity. I’m a melting pot of moods, influences and experience so I wanted a name that would reflect something broad and not be restricting, even immediately by gender.
We definitely got Coachella vibes from the music video. Where did the inspiration to shoot in the desert come from?
The desert is such a great canvas. It strips away what is unnecessary and very simply puts you in a place that is larger than yourself, like all nature does. Coachella vibes were not intentional, but I suppose it’s really the same feeling you get when you travel to the middle of the desert to listen to your favorite music. You want to strip away the noise so you can really listen….listen to the music and the experience, and yourself.
How was the reaction to your music at SXSW?
There’s a special moment as an emerging artist that you stop feeling like you’re playing for friends and family and that you have real fans. That was SXSW for me. Not that I haven’t played many shows to many strangers – but these strangers knew my music for the first time. These strangers were singing along. That was an incredible feeling. I went through hell to bring Baby Raptors into creation, and to get ‘I Am My Only Love’ out to the world. I had some top industry professionals crap all over the song, to be honest, when I was shopping it around. So I put it out myself. They certainly changed their tune when they saw people loved it. But that’s the industry – everyone is afraid until you prove it works. But the listeners aren’t afraid of something new. They aren’t afraid to come find you in Austin Texas on a rooftop at a festival and shake your hand and say, “I loved that.” That’s cool. And that’s why I love performing.
Where will fans be able to see you over the next year?
I will be doing a summer residency at Rockwood Music Hall in NYC with shows June 30th, August 4th and 25th. As for touring, expect to see some dates in LA and the UK with the EP release in early fall. Cheers!
You can buy Baby Raptors’ ‘I Am My Only Love’ on iTunes here.