DJ Sky Jetta and Baby Tate have the type of onstage chemistry between an artist and DJ that borders on telepathy where they’ll reflexively be in sync. That synchronicity extends to doing the same dance moves and instinctively knowing how to keep the show going when nature strikes.
“So, we were vibing out and performing for at least 10 minutes before my whole laptop blew off the stage. We had Tate telling knock, knock jokes onstage while I tried to get this together,” Sky Jetta told REVOLT.
In this installment of “Tour Tales,” Tate’s longtime DJ discusses why she suggested the artist do older songs like “Hey, Mickey!” at her shows, the celebrity fans who have watched Baby Tate perform, and the sacrifices she made for her DJ career. Read the exclusive below.
Baby Tate’s August 2021 set at MoMA PS1 was your first live performance with a crowd during the pandemic. What was it like being back outside?
That performance was amazing. Being indoors during the pandemic for so long blinded me to the fact that what Tate had going on was super huge at the time with her breakthrough song “I Am.” The crowd energy felt strong as a welcome back and having Telfar Clemens there to support. He’s such a big fan of the song. As far as Tate and I, the pandemic didn’t screw up our momentum. It just gave Tate time to build a stronger fan base.
As Tate’s star rose, she attracted more celebrities to her shows. Who were some of the biggest names to come out?
Tate headlined a show in LA at The Roxy in December 2022. Before I went to do my 30-minute set before our performance, I heard somebody in the green room say, “SZA is here.” I thought, “Oh, now I have to show out.” We also performed at the Apollo Theater in 2021, and Jazmine Sullivan was actually performing that night too. I believe it was Jazmine Sullivan and Mary J. Blige. Jazmine posted her watching our performance on the backstage monitor on her Instagram. She knew the words to “I Am,” and she was super hyped. She definitely showed Tate a lot of love that night. Mary J. Blige did so as well.
Over the last two years, how has your onstage chemistry with Baby Tate evolved?
As far as chemistry, with Tate and I living in two different cities and having that natural bond and friendship, our chemistry always works. We honestly don’t get too much time together to do crazy rehearsals and stuff like that. But, sometimes, she’ll do a dance move, and I’m already doing it too, and we’ll look at each other and laugh throughout the show. We have inside jokes throughout the entire show. I have some input on how the set list should be arranged. I got promoted to helping out with that. If it’s a longer set, Tate sometimes will say, “What songs should I add to make the set longer?” I’ll say, “Let’s do one of your songs that could possibly blow like ‘Hey, Mickey!’ Even though people aren’t really knowledgeable of some of these songs, let’s add them. You never know if the right person in the crowd recording your set can make this song go viral.”
Charlie XCX’s “Crash Tour” was the biggest one she’s been on. What changes did you all make to the set for a show that big?
Tate added more props to her set. She literally had a ballet bar we had to travel with in our Sprinter van (laughs). It made her set as amazing as it was. Tate was doing splits. She got a [music director] involved. Most of her tracks sounded live, which was different for me as a DJ because I’m so used to playing our normal two tracks. We had live drums. I just knew the tour was going to be amazing. The vibes felt different because these were real instruments. I was like, “Damn, don’t up and leave me for a band” (laughs).
Which shows on that tour stuck out to you?
Chicago was one of my favorites. Besides that show, it would have to be the show I had to do alone because Tate couldn’t make it because she wasn’t feeling too well. I had to put together a 30-minute set for a crowd I’ve never deejayed in front of. I left with like 400 new fans. Chicago was the biggest venue we did on that tour. My man was in the crowd. My friends were in the crowd. I had some family out here too. We didn’t travel with a lighting director or anything, so we based our lighting direction on the venue and whoever they had working lights. So whoever was doing the lights in Chicago, they were really rocking with us (laughs). That also made a difference to our performance because we’re two small girls on a big stage with not much production going on. The lighting helps.
Your performance at Red Rocks in the “Flintstones” outfits is a fan-favorite. How did that come about?
The “Flintstones” theme was both of our idea, and I said, “I’m going to be Bam Bam” and she said, “I’ll be Wilma.” At the minute, Tate tells me, “Hey, I didn’t get my costume.” I told her, “I’m at the Halloween store; I can go grab you a costume and bring it on my flight to Colorado.” That’s what I did (laughs). She didn’t see her costume until we got to the hotel. At the performance, it was a bit windy. So, we were vibing out and performing for at least 10 minutes before my whole laptop blew off the stage. We had Tate telling knock, knock jokes onstage while I tried to get this together. It took me maybe two or three minutes to figure things out. Thank God it was still functional enough to start the Serato back up and finish our set.
Have there been any personal life moments that you had to miss?
That happens a lot, honestly. I was actually supposed to go to a concert with Elton, but I had to tell him, “I’m sorry. I can’t make it.” Sometimes Mother’s Day gets missed, so I have to send my mom a package for Mother’s Day. But, for the most part, I still try to show up by calling during those moments, sending something, or trying to check up on my people. I realize life is moving fast, and my parents are getting older.
What do you have going on for the rest of 2023?
Doing some touring, maybe more festivals. I’m getting ready to drop music for myself. I’m very excited about that. I hope to drop an EP this fall. I don’t like putting dates on stuff, but I’ve been working. I and L10 have been working and producing. I’m also singing. So I’m pretty excited.