Who Is Baby Tate?
Hailing from Decatur, Georgia, 26-year-old Baby Tate has been making music for well over a decade now. In the latest On The Come Up episode, the Atlanta hitmaker admitted to walking out of her 9-5 job in the food service industry in 2017. She explained the decision was a result of customers recognizing her from videos more frequently.
Baby Tate’s debut project, R.O.Y.G.B.I.V became an exploration of both music and sound through color. The project left a mark on the industry that garnered significant attention. At the time, she received a co-sign from R&B star 6lack. That particular moment boosted her confidence to propel her career forward.
She explained constantly strives to learn, grow, and inspire other women. “I want other young women to be inspired by the things that I’m doing and feel empowered by the things that I’m doing,” Baby Tate told us.
The quick-witted lyricist notes Missy Elliott, Gwen Stefani, TLC, Rihanna, and Nicki Minaj as some of her biggest inspirations. However, the rap diva’s Georgia roots heavily influence her music, as well. Coming from a music capital, Baby Tate said there’s an added sense of pressure as an artist.
Despite her occasional doubts, Baby Tate has her sights set high for her future endeavors. She aspires to dive into the world of acting and collaborate with artists like Pharrell and Frank Ocean. Eventually, she hopes to have her own label where she can empower and mentor other women.
On the latest episode of On The Come Up Baby Tate discusses her come-up, inspirations, and more. Check it out below.
HNHH: Baby Tate, how’d you get into music?
Baby Tate: I got into music pretty much when I got into life. I started you know falling in love with music very early in my life because of, you know, my environment. My mom always had me around music and had me listen to it and so, for me, it’s something where like I didn’t choose music, music kind of chose me. But, I started making music when I was 13.
Who are some of your musical inspirations?
Some of my musical inspirations are, first of all, my mother, Dionne Farris. She was my first and biggest musical inspiration. To see a person directly in front of me doing what I wanted to do was, like, one of my biggest inspirations to go out and try to do it. But also, I was super inspired by like Missy Elliott, Gwen Stefani, TLC, Monie Love, Rihanna, Beyonce, Nicki Minaj. I think really my biggest thing in doing music and who I was mostly inspired by was other women and other women that had strong voices.
I also love like SWV, Brandy – just so many different women, you know? I honestly — like, no shade but I honestly can’t say like any man really inspired me to make music and so, I think that in my music, I give a lot of those same like notions. I want other young women to be inspired by the things that I’m doing and feel empowered by the things that I’m doing, as well. So yeah, I got inspired by, you know, the great women before me. It’s so many that I could name. Like, literally, any woman that’s ever done music and made like a mark in it. And just, you know, even if it wasn’t something where everybody in the world knows you, you might have inspired me in a way. So yeah.
What was the turning point for you? What was that moment where you realized you were on your way to becoming successful?
I feel like I’ve had a lot of turning points. You know like — alright so, when you driving, it’s like you could be turning and it could be like a “SKRRRRT” like a real quick turn, real sharp. Or you can have one of those turns where you like on a highway and you got to do this like little, “WoWoWo” and then you get back to this way, and so I feel like I’ve been turning for a long time. And so, I can’t say that any one moment was like “Oh, this was the moment where it really happened,” or “this was the moment where it really happened” ‘cause it’s all just been like compounded turning points.
So, I think the first one I ever really noticed was when I was working. This was my last job I ever worked. I worked 3 jobs my whole life and it was for a very short amount of time, each one [laughs]. But the last one that I worked, there were people coming in to my job and they would be like, “Aren’t you Baby Tate?” and I’ll be like “Yes, now would you like rice with that, or would you like that in a wrap?” [laughs]. It was just like, okay, this is definitely becoming a bit larger than me and larger than I think I thought it was at the time. And that was when I knew like, alright, I have to just go ahead and do this. I quit my job and was like, I’m just doing this music.
When was that?
That was 2017, I think, possibly. Yeah, but I quit my job. My manager was playing with me anyways about my check so I was like – I got my last check, and I said, “I’m leaving and I don’t think I’m coming back.” I left like in the middle of my shift was like “Goodbye.” And yeah, I just continued to put more and more into my music, into my performances, into showing up to things into showing up for people and just making sure that what I was doing mattered. So that was I think the first pivotal moment where I realized and– not even realize but just told myself I’m going to fully go into this like I can’t do anything else. Not college, not work, like it’s all music. That is my school. That is my job.
If a music fan were to discover you today. First time ever. What song would you tell them to listen to?
Okay, if they discovered me today, I feel like the song that they would listen to is probably “Sl*t Him Out” but the song that I would tell them to listen to might be like “What’s Love.” Because, you know, that’s just a song that means a lot to me. I think that a lot of people see me as only a rapper and so, I really would love to tell a new music fan to go listen to some of my singing songs first so that when they do hear my rap and stuff, they’re like “Oh, you rap, too?”
I rather have people be like, “Oh you rap, as well” than for people to be like “Oh dang, you sing?” but you know. It is what it is. Everybody’s going to have their own thing if they like from me which is what I think is one of my strong suits. The fact that I do have something for everybody. I think most of the greats, they have something for everybody. You might not like all of Michael Jackson’s songs but you got one of them ones that’s going to make you get up and groove. So, I like the fact that I have that versatility within me so I could tell somebody to go listen to any song and I feel like they would enjoy it.
Tell me about a valuable lesson that you’ve learned during your come-up.
A really very valuable lesson I’ve learned during my come-up is to, honestly, stay off the internet as much. I think that, especially within this day and age, like we have to, as artists, be on social media to promote ourselves and be our own marketing in a way but there’s like a balance that you have to have. So many times people are like, “Oh, you don’t see Beyonce online arguing with these people, etc.” And it’s like, absolutely because Beyonce doesn’t have to. Beyonce got to a point in her career, before Instagram was ever even thought about, that she was solidified. I don’t have to come online and comment to y’all. Period.
And so for me, I’ve always had this like, weird, you know, battle with, I guess, fame and humanity. And just like wanting to remind people so bad like, “I’m still human and stuff still hurts my feelings,” but like nobody cares [laughs]. And I think that’s one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned it’s just when you have these types of issues like I think it’s very important for everyone to get their opinions and speak to people about these types of problems because Twitter is not your therapist. They do not care and if anything, you tell them something they going to take that and twist it up and wrap it around and throw it at you like a tomato. So I think that’s been one of my biggest lessons on the come-up is just to take my emotions off the internet and, you know, use the internet for what is made for which is connecting. You know, with my fans and with new people and spreading my message and my music, and yeah.
Summarize your debut project, or single. The first song you ever recorded and what inspired you to create that?
So my debut project was called R.O.Y.G.B.I.V and it was about exploring music through color and sound through color. Because I think that all music has like — you know, people are like “Oh this is this type of vibe.” You could also associate a color with a vibe and so I wanted to explore that and I’m also just like a very colorful person which like, I’m sure you can tell [laughs]. Yeah, it was one of my first ever, really, moments where people kind of got to see the broad spectrum of who I am as an artist.
And it was very underground but a lot of people like randomly saw it. Like, I remember 6lack he had like tweeted it and I was like “What the heck,” because at this point in time I had like, I don’t know like — I’m not exaggerating I feel like I had 200 followers or something. So, it was just so bizarre that it reached someone like him at that moment but I believe that it did because of the fact that it was so… like, fearless in creativity and so that was one of my first moments stepping out onto the scene and the songs that I was first performing out in Atlanta and what not. But yeah, I think, you know, that’s still at my core who I am. Those songs really still represent me pretty well, I think. And just wanting to make sure people know like I’m not going to be just blue, you know? There’s also gonna be times where I’m red, orange, yellow, green, pink, indigo and violet. My first step into the world and I think it was a really good one for me because I’m still that same girl. I’m still very colorful and very explorative as far as my creativity goes, my genres go, and my content goes.
Tell me about your hometown in Georgia and how it has influenced your music. Whether previously in the past or current day.
So, I’m from Decatur, Georgia. I think being from here and just being able to soak up so much of what the music industry has tried to duplicate and replicate, you know, because Atlanta and you know Georgia, in general, has set a lot of the trends for music for a long time, you know? This is not something that just happened. Like, it’s been happening for a very long time and so to be from here — number one, it puts a lot of pressure on you because, it’s like, “Oh you coming from here? You coming from Atlanta? From Georgia? Oh okay, let’s see what you got.”
But it also just allows me to be very free in that expression because we have so many different types of artists here that have been successful and continue to be successful. We have people like Outkast, who is like when you talk about free expression and creativity, they did it. They’ve done it. And you have people like Young Thug where it comes to like his melodies and his cadences and flows like the creativity is off the rockers. And then, you also have people like Gucci Mane where it’s like– the trap sound like that’s him, you know? You have people like Future. You have people like Ciara. You have like LaFace, you know? And so it’s just such a broad spectrum of people and I think the biggest way that it’s influenced me is knowing that I can do “Tate.” you know? I can be Baby Tate and that’s it. I don’t have to succumb to like, “What’s the Atlanta sound?” I am the Atlanta sound. I’m from here, you know? Born here, naturally, and I’m creating the next wave of what people will go back and look at, you know? The next generation of people will have people like me to look at. So yeah, I think that’s the biggest way it’s really influenced me is just like, knowing I can be free.
Ciara’s a forgotten one.
Oh, we don’t forget Ciara around here. We don’t forget Ms. CeCe [laughs].
Where do you hope your music career takes you? If it hasn’t already.
I hope my music career takes me to the absolute pinnacles. The top. The topity tippity top, cream of the crop. There’s so many things that I want to do outside of music. I want to act. I want to do like fashion and beauty. I want to one day have my own label where I’m really empowering and mentoring other young women. I want to get into architecture. There’s just so much stuff that I actually want to do outside of music that I pray that I can put so much work into this right now, that’ll give me to that point. But yeah, I’m definitely not done. I definitely have not gotten to those points yet. I want to do so much, even in music, as well. I want to win awards. I want to perform at award shows. I want to, you know, get those plaques and break those records.
I’m just in this for a long time. Like, you know, people be like “I’m here for a good time not a long time.” No, I’m here for a long time. Period. So, that’s where music is going to take me.
If you could create your dream song — you got an unlimited budget, and this is past or present artists — who would you feature on it and what would it sound like?
So my dream song. It will be produced by myself and Pharrell. It would feature Rihanna and it would be co-written by myself and Frank Ocean.
That’s a good little mix right there.
What would be the name of the song?
The name of the song… I don’t know. Like, there’s so many avenues that I think all four of us, as artists, could go down, you know. It could be something that’s so like upbeat and like high fashion or could be something that’s like so downbeat and like really emotional and so I don’t know what it would be called yet ‘cause I don’t even know what it would feel like yet but I know it would be big.
Nah, the fact that you were able to come off the top, from that fantastic 4 – that’s why you’re sitting on that couch.
If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring musician on the come-up, what would tell them?
My biggest piece of advice that I would give an aspiring musician on the come-up is to remain true to yourself no matter how much people feel like you need to change. “You need to change. You need to do this, you need to do that.” The only person that really knows at the end of day what you need to do is you because you are creating your own story, you know? Everyone else around you should be helping you to facilitate that story but it starts with you and so know who you are and believe in yourself, fiercely. Believe in yourself delusionally, you know? Like to the point where you might be telling lies to yourself at that time but they’re going to come true because you believe in yourself so hard. So, that’s my biggest piece of advice. Just know yourself, stay true to what that is, and believe in that.