Musicians are barely getting a slice of music industry revenue, largely eating off of live performances instead. For ‘Tour Tales,’ we dig into the rider requests, delayed shows, diligent preparation, and future of touring by talking with the multitude of people that move behind the scenes. Record executives, photographers, tour managers, artists, and more all break down what goes into touring and why it’s still so vital to the livelihood of your favorite artists. What happens on tour stays on ‘Tour Tales.’
The pandemic may have stopped concerts in 2020, but when Yung Baby Tate needed to rehearse for her Rolling Loud Miami virtual show earlier this year, her DJ, Sky Jetta, saw how the rising star didn’t let anything stop her.
“Being that we’re in a pandemic, Tate and I had to rehearse via FaceTime. So, we set up FaceTime, and I watched her and the girls dance to try and get a feel of how her set was going to go,” Jetta told REVOLT.
In this installment of “Tour Tales,” the DJ speaks on Tate’s productions, the artist linking with Megan Thee Stallion, and more. Read below!
How did you first connect with Yung Baby Tate?
Our first linkup was accidental. She had a pop-up performance at this event during Art Basel in 2018 and I was the in-house DJ. I didn’t meet Tate or her manager then, but I met her manager Quinn [Goydish] at the Dreamville sessions in Atlanta in January 2019. I asked him, “Hey, who’s working Tate?” I saw that her previous manager was basically deejaying her shows for her and I thought I could add to her production. I saw the star quality in Tate from that pop-up performance I did with her. I told him, “Whenever y’all are in Chicago, I’ll deejay her sets.” She had a show with Leikeli47 a few months later. I reached out, they pulled me in to do that show and after that show, it stuck with us.
What was that first show?
That show was in Chicago and at [Subterranean]. It was my first time ever meeting Tate. Our chemistry sort of just clicked from that day on. That show was crazy. With me not having that much of a tour DJ experience before working with her, I learned a lot. I feel having a DJ behind you who knows your music, adds ad-libs, and hypes up the crowd while you’re performing gives more confidence to the overall performance. From then, I hit up Quinn again to see if they needed a DJ in Chicago for Lyrical Lemonade, which is a Chicago festival. He said, “You know what? I was going to hit you up to do our show in Toronto coming up pretty soon, but we’re also down to have you at Lyrical Lemonade too.” It just made sense.
What was the Lyrical Lemonade experience like?
Tate basically told me, “Yo, we’re going to have communication between each song transition.” Tate would play off the next song that’s about to come in. I’d talk my stuff on the mic. It’s actually crazy because Lyrical Lemonade was actually a rainy day and our performance got cut in the middle. It was hilarious because I’m up there talking my stuff and there’s this person stopping our music saying, “OK, we’re going to shut the festival down and we might resume.” Tate kept dancing and singing. It was hilarious.
In that moment, what did you do?
They turned Tate’s mic off and I said, “Can y’all turn Tate’s mic back on?” We didn’t care what was going on, we were trying to perform, period.
What artist interactions did you observe Tate have at Lyrical Lemonade?
Megan [Thee Stallion] had performed and this was when she was getting her flowers. I definitely saw Tate and Megan link up before or after Megan’s set. Megan definitely showed Tate a lot of love and vice versa.
How would you describe a Yung Baby Tate show?
Yung Baby Tate shows are full productions. She has the vocals, rapping skills, dancing, and her looks are tight. You don’t expect me to have my deep DJ girl voice on and try to liven up the crowd (laughs). Her performances are full productions. We did Rolling Loud last February and the whole production team basically told us we were the best performers the whole weekend. They actually clapped for us after the show — the camera crew and audio people. It was wild to know Tate had that much control to have people who probably don’t know her clapping and giving standing ovations afterward.
What is Tate’s personality like?
Tate is a really sweet girl. But, when it’s time to go on stage, she has the most game-ready face I’ve ever seen (laughs). There are no chuckles or giggles, she’s ready to put on a show. After Lyrical Lemonade, we did a Genius BBQ, One Music Festival, and she had a headlining show for the Red Bull Music Festival.
She previously spoke to REVOLT about that Red Bull show and said it was her biggest production. What went into that?
A lot went into it. I actually flew into Atlanta from Chicago to rehearse. It was a week’s worth of rehearsals. She had the show set up to where she featured artists from her EP Girls. So, she’d have a song with an artist like Baby Rose and she’ll let Baby Rose perform her own song. Then, she’ll have a song with Queen Key, and Queen Key would perform her own song. It was a full-on replica of what her Girls album was. At the time, she was supposed to drop her song “Camp” and that was the theme of this show.
Did you have to dress up for that, as well?
I felt so pressured to put on my best outfit for that event. I actually had a stylist come down (laughs). The theme was “Camp.” For me, I decided to wear French braid cornrows that I had backward where my hair was hanging forward instead of backward. I had an army fatigue fit to represent camp. I also had actual Hot Wheels hanging from my hair as berets (laughs).
What is the most memorable fan reaction you’ve seen?
Tate has a thing where she likes to connect with her fans during the show. When we went to Montreal, she invited about five different people to come on stage and rock out with her. Just seeing the people’s reactions to being allowed on stage was crazy. They knew all of the words and people had their phones out recording like, “Oh my God! We’re on stage with Tate.” And this was in Montreal.
What’s on her rider?
Tate needs fruit, for sure. She always has cut up fruit. She usually has a bottle of liquor. We keep some Essential water and gum.
What was the last show you two did together before the pandemic hit?
It may have been in December when we did Art Basel together officially. We had so much stuff lined up. 2020 was going to be a crazy year for Tate as far as festivals, tours, and stuff like that.
You two did link back up for Rolling Loud Miami’s virtual show in February. Was that your first show during the pandemic?
Yep. It was the first and only show, so far. It was crazy. Being that we’re in a pandemic, Tate and I had to rehearse via FaceTime. So, we set up FaceTime, and I watched her and the girls dance to try and get a feel of how her set was going to go. Before, the show I told her, “Tate, I’m kind of nervous because it’s been a long time,” jokingly. When we did it, it was like we never left.