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Yung Baby Tate Opens Up About Her Creative Upbringing

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In an exclusive interview, the Georgia artist opens up about significant moments she’s experienced throughout her life and career.

Yung Baby Tate is a genre-blending artist and creator who strongly believes in empowering women. Originally from Decatur, GA the rising singer has been carving her niche in the music industry for years. 

As an adolescent, she attended DeKalb School of the Arts after taking a highly competitive test. She attributes this time in her life as significant to her journey. Tate also played the piano, acted in a theater ensemble, and took beat making lessons all before going away to college. She eventually left to pursue her dreams of becoming a full-time artist. 

Her debut studio album, GIRLS, which she released last February, offered an exploratory look at how she views her life. The expansive project digs into what defines her as an artist but also makes it clear that she is still discovering herself. GIRLS features hints of R&B, hip-hop, and pop as each of these genres are distinct pieces of Tate’s taste in music. 

In January, Tate won a Grammy for her work as a songwriter on Dreamville’s Revenge of the Dreamers III. Three months later in April, she announced publicly that she’d signed to Issa Rae’s label, Raedio. This strategic move allows her to own her masters, which is highly important for a young talent like Tate. Beyond signing to the imprint, her music has also appeared on the soundtrack of Rae’s HBO series Insecure more than once during Season four. The uptempo track “Do Me Like That,” which features BUDDY, received its own moment on the critically acclaimed show. “That Girl” off of GIRLS also allowed Tate another taste of the mainstream when it aired.

We got a chance to catch up with Yung Baby Tate. During our conversation, she touched on her upbringing, what she’d like to be remembered for, and more.

As told to Robyn Mowatt

On how being from Decatur, GA influences her sound.

Decatur is like 15 minutes from Atlanta. So growing up when people ask where you’re from, you just say Atlanta. I grew up listening to trap sound like Soulja Boy, who was very important to my culture at the time and, Gucci Mane. Migos and Future as I was getting older. I think just being in proximity to that energy — because the music was playing everywhere — you didn’t have to be in Atlanta to hear that music. But it was more so the energy of that music.

On the importance of expressing her innermost self through her music and personal style.

My personal style is extremely important to me. Unless I’m acting as someone else, I really can’t allow someone else to style me. I’ve had some stylists try to put me in some heels and some grown and sexy clothes, and I’m like, “I’m Yung Baby Tate, I don’t know what you’re doing but this makes no sense.” My personal style is me and I can’t walk around like someone else and still try to be me, it’s confusing and messes with my spirit.

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I don’t think it’s hard for me to stay true to myself. A lot of times every artist who writes their own music [has] those moments where they want to give more to their fans than to themselves and it’s like, “what do the fans want to hear?” As an artist, our job is to have balance with both sides like, “what do my fans want to hear, and what do I want to say?” So for me, I think that I know my fan base very well and I think that’s because they know me very well. I’m very open, even on Twitter. I’m just me. I’m not out there trying to put out this perfect persona so I think that we are able to have this [great] dynamic. It’s important for me to stay true to me.

Yung Baby Tate
Photo Credit: Makeda Sandford for Okayplayer.com

On uplifting other women in the entertainment industry.

I think I’ve always really felt like women, in general, are always pitted against each other and I always feel like it was so lame. Women are also put down by our male counterparts so I always feel like it’s [been] important for me to switch things around with the roles and how women are viewed. I think that we’re strongest together, and it’s way easier for fifty women to be heard than one. I’ve always felt it was important for us to stick with each other whether we rap, sing, produce, engineer — anything.

On what she wants to be remembered for. 

I think I want to be remembered mostly for being extremely talented and creative and really making an impact on how women stand in this industry. I feel like a lot of times…in the studio, a group of guys can go in and speak to everyone in the room but the women. I want to be remembered as the person that kind of changed those things because of her talent and the respect on my name.

Yung Baby Tate
Photo Credit: Makeda Sandford for Okayplayer.com

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