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Interview

Yung Baby Tate Creates a Colorful World ‘After the Rain’

By Wanna Thompson on

Born in Decatur, Georgia, Tate Sequoya Farris, better known as Yung Baby Tate, always knew she wanted to be a star. Dabbling in the arts and following in her mother Dionne Farris’ footsteps, the multi-talented artist is a force, or rather a supernova that needs to be seen up close. Releasing her first EP, ROYGBIV, over five years ago, Tate made her mark with her debut album, GIRLS, in 2019, which touts stunning guest appearances by Kari Faux, Baby Rose, and Bbymutha.

Sonically, Yung Baby Tate takes listeners on a whimsical adventure with her sultry-sweet rap voice that flexes an impressive vocal range most of her peers wouldn’t dare emulate. Her style is an amalgamation of the colour palette found in Tim Burton’s Edward Scissorhands and all things rainbows and cotton candy.

After the Rain, Tate’s latest release, dives into all facets of the rapper and singer’s latest trials and tribulations. The opener encapsulates Tate’s witty personality as she takes aim at someone who doesn’t appreciate her and reminds them she’s “one in a billion.” Standouts on the project include “Cold,” where Tate lets her vocals shine, and “Let It Rain” with Atlanta’s own 6LACK, where Tate and the crooner go back and forth, conjuring vibrant chemistry.

The bounce felt on “Rainbow Cadillac” is enough to have you returning to the EP, but “Baecation” might be the one to have you fantasizing about escaping the quarantine to a warmer place with somebody’s daughter or son.

Signing to Issa Rae’s label Raedio in 2020 with notable placements on the Insecure Season 4 soundtrack, it’s only up from here for the multifaceted entertainer and GRAMMY-nominated artist and songwriter. With a penchant for writing, producing, and seemingly doing it all, Yung Baby Tate’s imprint will be felt and heard for years to come.

After the Rain is such a symbolic title for your latest project. Can you detail how you arrived at that name in the creative process?

So, when we first started on this EP, it had no name. We were just calling it “the EP.” As we got to the middle stages of writing these songs, I also started to enter the final phases of my last relationship. As that began to happen, I was looking back at pictures of myself prior to getting into this, and I started to realize, “Damn, I kind of lost myself.” I used to be so colorful, vibrant, always in a bomb-ass rainbow hairdo, and I started to miss that.

So one day, I randomly posted a throwback pic of myself with all of my favorite rainbow styles, and it just came to me. After the Rain was born from that reflection. It was pretty easy to finish the project moving forward with that energy of letting myself know that rainbow was coming back out.

Do you have an alter ego, and what do you call her?

I wouldn’t say I have an alter ego. However, I was talking to a friend recently about Sigmund Freud’s theory on the Id, Ego, and the Superego and what we would name ours. My Ego is me, how I see myself. I’d call her by my middle name, “Sequoia.” My Id is the turnt-up, loud, sometimes rude, spoiled “Baby.” My Superego is the one always trying to keep it all together and is rarely ever-present. I’d probably call her “Yung Granny.” But all together, I’m just Tate. Yung Baby, if you’re nasty.

Other than the studio, where do you go to tap into your creativity?

A lot of times, I tap into my creativity at home. For instance, I love to paint. I found that out this year by just trying something new at my house. I sew, as well. Most of my creativity starts right in my bedroom.

You’re a multi-hyphenate. You dance, you sing, you rap, you seemingly do it all.

I’ve always been doing everything. From my high school days, I was at a performing arts school where we had to take all of the arts our first year. I took media, art, chorus, dance, drama; I even got a little acquainted with the “techie” life and the backstage production part of the show process. I was taught to somewhat be a jack of all trades, a multi-threat, because you never know what might not work or what you might end up loving to do. Balancing it all is like balancing myself.

A while back, you tweeted you wanted to work with Flo Milli, and it finally happened. Your collaboration “I Am” sounds like a sonic manifestation. Describe how that came about.

This collaboration has been well awaited by both of our fanbases, and I’m so happy I could make it happen. As soon as I finished recording “I Am,” I said, “You know who would eat on this? Flo Milli.” So I DM’d her, and the rest is beautiful history.

Your family has extremely talented ties, namely your mother, the iconic Dionne Farris. How did this inspire your exploration into music?

I definitely would not be the woman I am becoming if it weren’t for my mother. I watched her do everything: perform, practice, record, write; I was there for it all. Seeing her do it made me know my dreams weren’t futile. Having an example right in front of me, pushing me to be a greater me, has always inspired me to do music. It’s in my blood.

Your songwriting is very vivid and personal. “Let It Rain” with 6LACK dives into that effortlessly. How important is having that creative control for you?

That’s one of my most personal songs I’ve ever written. I actually had to cut the session short that day because tears were running down my face in the booth. This EP is all extremely honest, direct from my heart, which I love because even though this is my first time working with writers on my own music, it’s still very much so me. That’s what I loved about this process. I created the narrative, I’m telling the story, but I had two extremely amazing writers collaborating and helping me to push it out properly and think about things in a way that maybe I hadn’t before. Ultimately, being in the driver’s seat will never stop for me.

Photos by Sarah Pardini.

InterviewYung Baby TateGeorgiaHip HopR&B