1. What made you realize that music was your path?
I grew up participating in all sorts of different artistic outlets, and I even considered pursuing music a few times, but there are two main things that happened to me that made me finally decide to go for it. First, I spent a summer (following a pretty disastrous break up) working full-time as a corporate accountant. I was pretty depressed, and the job was only making things worse. I didn't have the time to pursue music, and being taken out of it made me realize it was the one thing I needed. Second, motivated by all of that, I reconnected with Alice (a.k.a. VIDEN), a friend from high school that had started working at a studio and producing stuff on her own. She really helped me out and convinced me that I could do it. That's how BAATS started.
2. How would you describe the music that you typically create?
I used the term "ghost rap" earlier, but that's not too specific. I want to take modern hip hop and trap production, with its full, colorful sound, and marry it to older musical tradition and theory, so the result is familiar, but still complex. My vocals are always meant to tell a story, but like with The Things They Carried, I don't think it's important that the details are all true—only that the emotion is.
3. Who are your biggest musical influences?
Primarily, I love the sound of artists like Jesse Rutherford, Blackbear, and 6lack. It's smooth, it's dark, and it's lyrical, but still moves. I also love the vocals of Lil Uzi Vert—I won't prop him up as a great writer, but he does great things with his voice and really understands melody. And I have to admire Kendrick for all of his thought. You can't listen through To Pimp A Butterfly without sitting in awe of his conceptual genius. Out of place on this list, but a big part of my musical thought is Debussy. I love romantic-era piano compositions, and his are, by far, my favorite.
4. What makes your music unique?
My music is unique because I pull from so many traditions, timbres, and styles across music history. It's one thing to sample a 40s swing track, but it's another to understand how it worked, and to apply that to completely different sounds.
5. Has there been one particular moment in your musical career that you’re most proud of?
No moment can compare to midnight on April 20, 2018, when I saw my music go live on streaming platforms and stores. I worked on that project for well over a year, and I couldn't have been more proud. I had thrown stuff up on Soundcloud and Bandcamp before, but it was my first official release, and it felt like at that moment I had sealed my fate. I ended up running around the entire dorm shouting at people to listen.
6. What’s next for you?
I'm going to keep creating. It's nice to have industry goals, and personally, I do want to hear my songs on the radio, and perform more, and build a fan base. That's the dream, isn't it? But "what's next" for me is always going to be writing something better. I just want to bring art into the world.
7. If you can close this interview by telling your fans and the world one thing you really want them to hear straight from you and not from rumors in the street, What would that be?
I'm not sure if you actually wanted me to answer this, since I'm not really big enough to have any rumors to follow me around. But yeah, I grew up in a suburban middle-class neighborhood, and I'm not about to pretend like my life was hard, or I came up from nothing, or did it on my own, or whatever else people like to throw into their lyrics. I just love music, and that's enough to me.