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.’
Twenty-three-year-old artist Yung Baby Tate’s age belies her experience as a live performer. She attended a performing arts school where she learned to act, sing and dance. So, the star has been honing her performance skills since the third grade and treats her live shows as if she was an athlete.
“It’s like being a runner. You have to keep a pace. You can dart to the finish line at the end. But, if you start super fast, you’re going to lose your breath and someone is going to whiz past you,” Tate told REVOLT TV.
In this installment of “Tour Tales,” the artist explains surprising people in the crowd, why she couldn’t develop a relationship with Leikeli47 on tour, and more. Read the interview below.
When did you start performing with the stage name Yung Baby Tate?
When I first started performing outside of school, my stage name was Tate in 2015. That’s when I started doing shows around Atlanta. I don’t think it was until 2017 that I changed my name to Yung Baby Tate. That was always my social media handle since I was in 10th grade, so as I got more known around the city, people would announce me like, ‘Yung Baby Tate.’
How would you describe a typical show of yours?
Typically, I would be alone. But, that’s going to change soon. I’ll explain it for someone who’s never seen one of my shows. Out comes this short girl in a mini-skirt with pigtails in her hair. You’re thinking, ‘What the fuck is this? Whose daughter is this?’ Then, I start rapping and it’s really cute with high energy. Then, you’re like, ‘Oh okay, this girl got some bars and she’s funny.’ Then, I might start twerking and you’re like, ‘Oh, okay. So, this isn’t somebody’s daughter. She’s talking about sexual things.’ Then, I might bust out the vocals on you and you’re now like, ‘Whoa!’ You never know what’s going to come next. You never know genre I’m about to do next or who I’m going to bring out.
Are there any bars or songs that catch people off guard at shows?
Oooh (laughs). If I do ‘[Dope D],’ that song is really raunchy and I normally just throw it in there so people aren’t expecting it. At South by Southwest this year at the Fader Fort, when I went onstage, the security was like, ‘Who’s daughter is this?’ Then, after the show and they were like, ‘You started talking about where that dick at or something.’ …It’s either those moments or the singing moments that catch people’s attention.
How do you structure your shows to make sure you don’t tire yourself out?
It’s like being a runner. You have to keep a pace. You can dart to the finish line at the end. But, if you start super fast, you’re going to lose your breath and someone is going to whiz past you. So, for me, I start up with a cool tempo rap song. Then, I’ll do a few more rap songs and slow it down for a bit, so I can catch my breath. I don’t like to do too much high energy before I start singing because then, I’d be out of breath and my notes won’t be right. Then, I might end it out with some very high energy rap songs.
One of those high energy rap songs that is becoming a staple at your shows is ‘Wild Girl.’ What reactions have you gotten from that track?
It’s always fun because I bring people onstage, so it’s always like a party. What’s so crazy is I’ll point to the crowd and be like, ‘Who wants to come get wild with me?’ I’ll pick four people and then everybody gets on stage (laughs). I’m excited to perform that with Bbymutha at the Red Bull show.
That show seems like a big moment in your career. What does it mean to you?
This is a huge stepping stone for me. I don’t want to be corny, but I feel like Red Bull has given me some wings (laughs). They’ve helped me show what I can do with that bigger budget to put on a full production, which is really exciting. It allows my audience, brands, sponsors and whoever else [to] see what’s possible from me. I’m really grateful. It’s going to be different from a regular Yung Baby Tate show. I’ve got five special guests coming out on my set. I have a special DJ set before the show. I have a special host. I have four dancers with me. I have a huge buildout stage with a tent, a canoe, and a dock to walk the plank.
You toured with Leikeli47 on ‘The Acrylic Tour.’ What was that like?
The tour was so much fun. I really enjoyed seeing fans I’m not able to touch all the time. It was dope to see faces to names and have fun with them. A lot of my favorite memories from the tour are just the reception from everyone on tour. As a supporting artist, it’s important to be in rooms with audiences that listen to you and want to see you even if they don’t know you. Chicago was fucking lit. I didn’t realize I had so many fans in Chicago. I had three fans that drove from, I think, Wisconsin or something just to come to see me at the show.
You put out your project Girls about a month or so before the tour started. What were some songs from it that got surprising reactions?
People really like ‘Bad Girl’ and ‘Good Girl.’ I would say people really liked ‘Boy’ [from the Boys EP]. From my Summer Love EP, I have ‘Maneater’ that they love. There were a lot of women in the building and from the LGBTQ community. A lot of my lyrics are very empowering for women. A lot of women came up to me after the show like, ‘You made me feel so powerful.’
I saw you did a ‘Pony Tail Freestyle’ on Instagram backstage once. Did you usually work on music or freestyle on that tour?
Nah, I would just play around and freestyle on IG Live (laughs). When I was on tour, there was so much going on city to city. I barely had time to work on anything. Anytime I was doing freestyles or anything, it was just for fun. I’m always on Live. I was literally on Live before you called me (laughs).
What are some fun things that happened on the tour?
So, a lot of times when I go out of town, I take a teddy bear with me. On that tour, I had my teddy bear with me and his name is Biverly. I had Biverly with me everywhere. I forget what city we were in, but it was time for us to go and we had to get to the sprinter in time for us to be on the road to get to the next city. I’m rushing, packing and everything. We leave the hotel, get an Uber, and I realize I left Biverly in the hotel.
So, I was like, ‘We have to turn around. I don’t care.’ Our Uber turns around, we go back to the hotel and I run in. I have on slides. I’m out of breath and I run in like, ‘Hey, I’m so sorry. I left something in my hotel room.’ They were like, ‘OK, you can go up and get it.’ I go up, get Biverly, go back on the elevator, come out, and now I’m running. Remember, I have slides on. I’m running from the elevator room to the lobby and the floor between the elevator room and the lobby are two different types of tiles. So, there’s a rip where the tiles change and… (laughs). My slides caught on to the rip in the floor and I went flying across the floor (laughs). I’m not exaggerating. There were only two other people in there and they heard this big boom. They look over like, ‘Are you OK?’ I’m already in a rush, so I get up real quick like, ‘I’m OK. I’m fine. I’m fine (laughs).’ That was painful at the moment, but it’s hilarious.
How was your relationship with Lekilei47 on tour?
She’s very private, so we didn’t get to fully make a relationship. I didn’t really see her that often. I saw her before the show and would tell her, ‘Good luck tonight.’ She would do the show and then dip out.
What was your rider?
I can’t remember everything off of our rider. But, it was basically fruit, tequila, and water. I used to have a lot of candy. Then, I found out I had hella cavities. So, I took Sour Patch Kids off of my rider.
What would you change about touring if you could?
I would change how you don’t really get to see the city that you’re in that long. I was talking with someone the other day who said Nick Jonas said he’s been in every country in the world, but he’s never seen any of it. All he’s seen is the hotels and the venues. I would change how you route touring, so you could see the place you’re in for a while.
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