Artist and singer Baby Yors has come through COVID reinventing what it means for him to be an artist. In this reflective moment, he created a quarantine diary set to his song "Suddenly". This music video directed by Baby Yors captures the essence of the last three months on a 90’s camcorder. It is both personal, and true to the times we are living in. IRK caught up with Baby to get his insights on creativity, COVID, his new music video, and luckily for us so much more.
Film Director: Baby Yors
Photographer: Haley Varacallo Hair: Alejandro Lucchetta Stylist Harry James Hanson
IRK: We have all been through the most unifying experience in our history with Covid-19 and the need to isolate us from others. How have you experienced this moment? BABY YORS: For me, it’s been a very interesting journey. Early on, I dedicated a lot of my time to building a new recording studio/home office. It’s now a place that feels like an extension of my art. When this whole thing began, I started tackling many projects that I haven’t had the time to work on before, as well as reading and studying many subjects that interest me.
What I do is pretty solitary to begin with. When I write and start working on a project I always have to start alone, so quarantine actually didn’t feel that strange to me. And anywhere I'd normally go to hasn’t been open anyway, so I’ve had no other reason to leave the house unless it was to buy groceries.
IRK: Are you more connected with your fans than ever before?
BABY YORS: Well, at first, no—it was quite the opposite. I went inside, and it’s only now that I am starting to come back out to the surface…literally and figuratively. I’m sure my fans had to deal with lots of stuff as well. I feel like we just connected through the music. That said, I like that I got an entire new audience during quarantine… and I’ve been releasing new music all throughout. So the answer is both yes and no.
IRK: How has creating in quarantine been compared to how you usually create?
BABY YORS: Again, isolation it a typical part of my usual methods, but this time I went much deeper into the foundation of my art and my talents. And reviving the past work it’s taken for me to hone them. It has been fantastic. I do a lot of different things—singing, songwriting, dance, guitar, piano, filmmaking—and I’ve trained professionally for 10-20 years in most of these disciplines. We live in a society full of “experts”… experts in just one thing, and many times we are made to believe that we can’t be great at more than one thing. Let me tell you: If you put in the hours, and if you put in the work, then of course you can be good at several things. And if you’re working on these things simultaneously, they tend to feed each other and grow exponentially. It’s just about how serious you are about what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. During this time I was forced to do all of these things alone even more than usual. And because I do my best to avoid distractions (even shutting down my phone for days at a time) I can really analyze what it is that I do, why I do it, and then find ways of integrating all these different skills. It’s always been a similar process, just never this concentrated. I am back to dancing almost every day, playing guitar and piano, producing, learning economics and philosophy… writing a lot. Been hard at work over here.
Jewelry : Chris Habana, Dress: Maryam Nassir Zadeh, Crown: London Michalske
IRK: Tell us about your new Music Video "Suddenly”?
BABY YORS: I wrote this song years ago! Like four or five years ago. And I’ve been performing it at all of my shows since then. I’ve been reading a lot about hallucinogenic drugs in the past five years, and when I experimented with them… my whole perception of life changed. For the record, I do want to say that, for people who haven’t done any drugs like DMT or Mushrooms, they should be treated with respect and care, and they may not be for everyone. Personally, I see them as tools that nature has given us to discover this world through different frequencies—to really perceive what’s there that we don’t normally see. We are very limited creatures if we don’t look for expansion. In my opinion, taking these drugs isn't simply ludic or for partying; it allows for a transcendental and spiritual experience. You SUDDENLY realize things. You SUDDENLY find yourself looking at the world and at your own image from a different place. You SUDDENLY are able to see beyond. And that feeling is what’s behind this song.
But when quarantine started and I was ready to release this, I started listening to it and looking at what was happening to me. What was happening to my mind in confinement. And I found myself experiencing many epiphanies. The world changed so much, and again, it happened SUDDNELY. This song had taken a new meaning, and even my cry for a conversation when I say “Elon! Look at me, talk to me, let me into your mind” ...I have never felt this way more than I have recently! Now that Elon Musk has been working on Neuralink and is truly expanding our capabilities to an unimaginable size, I see his and Einstein’s mention in the song as a representation of the fast growing "intellectual dark web” phenomenon that has been captivating minds all around the world. It is showing us, for the first time, that the masses are smarter than corporations and governments thought they are, and that they are starving for GOOD CONVERSATIONS, LOGIC, and INTELLECT. THEY ARE CURIOUS! I would encourage people to read and listen to the works and conversations of people like Sam Harris, Eric and Brett Weinstein, Jordan Peterson, and many more! We need to start feeling comfortable listening to new points of view and ideas we don’t agree with. And by the way, the same person that you disagree with in one subject may be the person who shows you a fresh new way of seeing other things.
IRK: What is the message you want to share through "Suddenly”?
BABY YORS: That we all need to wake up and stop living like robots—like mechanical creatures of habit. That’s not us! We are endless and we can’t even start to understand our biology. How are we going to understand our essence?! Revelation by revelation, I think. Even if you understand nothing about what’s happening around you. This world is ridiculous. Of course we don’t understand it. It’s confusing, and on top of that, other humans like us, although they knew way less than we do today, created stories and religions that people take to heart and live by even today. It’s appalling. Most of the ways of culture are completely illogical, some of it is very cruel. But you have to trust that one way or another (Not talking about psychedelics) you will have many moments in life when things will click, and if you’re curious enough, you’ll find enough of these to keep you busy and thinking. And that’s what life is I think…trying to figure out at least a little of why we are here. I could be wrong, but that’s how I feel today.
Jewelry : Chris Habana, Dress: Maryam Nassir Zadeh, Crown: London Michalske
IRK: Was it therapeutic to create this multimedia diary?
BABY YORS: Yes it was! I saw myself under a completely different light. Even physically: My “look” changed a lot, and that’s just a reflexion of how I feel inside. Now more than ever, I feel like a grown man. And my name has never been more right. It’s always been a joke on culture. A fun name game in a sea of complexity and inner reflexion. Comfortable in my own skin, owning my power, and very much unbothered by the slings and arrows of commercial entertainment. Surrounded by people I love…saying what I need to say.
IRK: Are you waiting for things to go back to normal?
BABY YORS: No. I am never waiting. I try to not do that. But It’d be nice to get out and get some things done. I am working a lot at home, but there are a few videos that were supposed to be filmed in other countries and states which are postponed indefinitely of course.
IRK: Has this unprecedented moment changed you?
BABY YORS: Yes. And actually, I feel like I have reinvented what it means for me to be an artist these days. Being in this industry is different for everyone. In my case, I have refused to be distributed by a giant corporation, time and time again. So the backend of things—behind-the-curtain, and behind the art itself—has become a constant school. And now, some other indie artists I know have started reaching out to me for consulting and other things. By helping them, I realized what I had created for myself: That what I do and how I do it is pretty unique, and I am seeing what else I can do with that knowledge. Right now, it’s allowing me to be helping my friends and colleagues. On a more personal note, being in quarantine has caused me to be unable to go to physical therapy. I have two herniated discs in my back, which I don’t talk about often, but can put me in pretty bad pain. Sometimes it goes away for a few days, but then it comes back and I have to work through it—this time without any professional help. Having to deal with pain on my own has been a journey I don’t wish on anyone, but one that I am trudging through. I want to believe is teaching me something.
IRK: Are you hopeful or afraid of the future?
BABY YORS: Hopeful! Always. You can either fear that the robots will kill us all, or you can trust that the right people will keep making them and that they will allow us to do unprecedented things. I think technology will change us in ways we can’t imagine. I am ready for it. Life is short anyway and we might get to experience it all: The only few generations to go from fully organic to fully bionic; the possibility of immortality. Who knows? We already are part robots—these smartphones don’t leave our hands too often.
IRK: Anything else you would like to say?
BABY YORS: Thank you for the interview. And watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgFzmE2fGXA&t=901s