THE UPSIDE-DOWN WORLD OF BABY YORS
feature photo courtesy of @noah.oleary
Or perhaps it’s the right side up.
Baby Yors is a multihyphenate extraordinaire: he directs, dances, paints, sings, acts, and writes music. One could try to say this, of course, of the blueprinted actress-cum-musician-influencer-slash-content-creators relentlessly reinventing themselves in cities like Manhattan and Los Angeles. But Baby needs no manufactured pedigree, nor marketable backstory: he’s the stuff aspirational creatives dream of - that is, he is the aspiration itself. With a discography spanning vulnerables songs like “Mother” to fun, energetic ones like “Gogo Girl,” Baby has established a personal sound defined by artistry, not genre. His latest release, “Mundo del Revés,” is the first Spanish language song that he has presented to the public. The accompanying music video, released today, is sultry, moody, a direct love child of his other endeavors.
“It’s based on a film I directed a while ago,” Baby tells me in between bites of the Wes Anderson-esque dessert he’s ordered. We’re in Ladurée, cradling a Saint-Honoreé Rose Framboise puff pastry at two in the afternoon. The bakery is relatively empty, but Baby had named it as one of his favorite spots; appropriately, he honors the occasion by showing up in a velvet turtleneck with puff sleeves and rockstar silver pants.
Though we originally set up time to discuss the upcoming music video release of “Mundo del Revés,” the conversation meanders to its various origins and offroads. The film he refers to is only one of many inspirations behind the song and music video. In between pinching at our pastries and sipping coffees, Baby tells me everything about his life, from his upbringing to his initial life in New York to the most defining aspect of his autobiography: his favorite films.
Born in the small town of Jujuy in Argentina, Baby began dedicating himself to artistic expression at a very young age. He remembers pouring himself into various crafts -- taking dance, art, and acting classes -- and staying out for almost the entire day because he didn’t want to go home.
As a child, he’d sensed that his proclivity for theatrics and flamboyance made him different from other kids; he often felt that his artistry was unwelcome and stifled, particularly in a community with a singular, non-negotiable expectation of masculinity. And so Baby protected his nascent creativity by staying far, far away, taking so many classes a day that his eventual journey from Argentina to New York at just seventeen felt like an obvious transition rather than an abrupt departure.
Trained in ballet and musical theater, Baby is no stranger to the inflexibility of tradition. But just as conservative Jujuy became a catapult towards the allure of New York, the foundations of classical art produced a more intriguing, unique direction for Baby’s creativity.
“I think schools can teach you technique but they cannot teach artistry,” he ruminates, “I was doing the same things over and over again, doing things that had been done before.” The rigidity of technicality, or rather, his disenchantment with these, drove Baby to create his very own persona, the very beginning of what you see today. Wanting to pursue music, Baby then focused his energy on bettering his craft. “There is something beyond religious connection, something that is just spiritual, some unknown we cannot explain. A feeling. And that is translated through music.” Though he would depart from the conventions of classical ballet or theater, these foundations provided Baby with the fertile, solid ground for an entirely new generation of works.
“Mundo Del Revés” sources its inspiration from many things: a film that Baby directed a few years ago, a children’s song titled “El Mundo Del Revés,” and Baby’s own life. “Chic and Chambray,” the short film Baby directed, was filmed between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, created by 15 artists who came from all over the world and lived together for three weeks to create this short film. Inspired by hair thieves that had terrified Baby when he was still a child in Argentina, the group in the film goes around cutting off passerby’s hairs. Using words from the film and drawing inspiration from one of his actress friends, Baby began to write the music for it.
“Mundo Del Revés,” which translates to “upside down world” or “world in reverse,” is the first Spanish language single that Baby Yors has released. Now comes the music video, which Baby released in collaboration with CAM4. CAM4, an erotic adult video site, has faced censorship issues, much like Baby has in the past, with their Instagram being deleted multiple times due to “inappropriate content.” Similarly, Baby has had his own posts removed and censored. In this upside down world, we are all allowed to exist in whatever form we choose, becoming a popular TV channel for spectators to watch as they please. With costumes made from real human hair, the music video is moody yet colorful, dark yet lively. Multi-colored wigs and stylized scissors make their way onto the screen as reminders of the hair thieves.
“I loved that I was able to put myself in character,” Baby relays as we take our final sips of coffee. “My previous work usually has sad or dark undertones, but this time the world was not inside me,” he lets out a muffled laugh, “so it’s not internal and sad.” Instead, it is bright and colorful, seemingly reflecting the joyful colors of liberation and freedom that have accompanied his triumphant emergence from a stifled artistic tradition.
Baby Yors's latest music video, "Mundo Del Revés," will be released everywhere on February 25.