“Cruel Intentions” is a disco-infused pop bop with a groove that belies its tale of being sexually attracted to someone who you know doesn’t serve you. Through pulsing synths and snappy drums, Baby agonizes over the choice between giving into that temptation (and accepting the consequences), or ultimately deciding to move on.
The accompanying video dishes up a loving homage to queer icons, which Baby describes as “George Michael through the lens of Britney Spears”. Oozing technicolor paint scenes are interspersed with snatches of bodies in shadow, Baby in an iridescent wing set, and cuts of a spotlit Baby dancing. Their corset-clad hairy adult body simultaneously defying smooth-skinned queer pop stereotypes and highlighting the perverse absurdity of the sexualized imagery forced upon the teen pop princesses they grew up adoring. Discussing the use of vibrant rainbow hues on reflective materials, Baby explains, “ I just wanted it to be unapologetically rainbow but in a fresh way.“
The “Cruel Intentions” single is augmented with three remixes that each brings a new shimmer. From the twisted vocals of SaturnValley’s bubbly electropo interpretation, to Angel Emoji’s breakneck electro-house revision, and Destino’s flickering digipop.
With the release of “Cruel Intensions,” I wanted to take a moment and catch up with Babyangel69.
Where are you from?
How long have you been in the industry?
What first drew you to do music?
The energy. I wanted to be a part of that party. The fashion, the dancing, and just the general rambunctiousness of all the acts I grew up on. I’ve always been hooked on pop.
How many projects have you released to date?
Can you tell us about your latest release and the background/inspirations behind it?
My producer, Harrison, and I were interested in an 80s throwback “I Feel Love” arpeggiated pop-dance track. They delivered the instrumental and together we tag-teamed our way through the melodies and lyrics. We spiraled, revising each other, and ultimately ended on the track you hear now.
The visual was shot and directed by Eli Schmidt. It was a total collision of us. Eli’s bold vision/treatment met my styling and raw improvised movement. It was a marriage of two friend’s minds on the edge of saying goodbye to Brooklyn after 10 years the very day after shooting.
At the time of songwriting and conception, I was processing ideas of trust and boundaries in regards to relationships that are not healthy positive energies.
What would you like your base to take away from this project?
From the song itself, Trust yourself and listen to your instincts louder than anything else. I fucking hope it made you get up and dance or hum the melody later. I want to sing about epiphanies and discoveries because those informing moments help to learn from yourself.
From me? Expect a very vulnerably heartfelt and cathartic EP that explores political, as much as personal, themes. My agenda is incredibly queer. I’m obsessed with dark synths, a heavy beat, and bringing a playfulness to that edge.
What do you think of the state of the industry in 2021?
I think the industry is at an interesting turning point right now. We’re globally being held more accountable for our choices and statements. We’re also having to break conventional ideas of operation by working remotely amidst this moment on earth. I think it definitely is giving independent artists a stronger pitch to control their own narrative and brand. It’s an exciting time to try new things.
How have you been able to adapt to engaging with your fans during the pandemic?
Just staying open and present but having a sense of humility. People are going through their own battles and/or journeys on a level we are not seeing directly right now. Having compassion and respect for everyone, especially strangers, is paramount.
Who do you think is the most influential artist at this time and why?
I’m obsessed with Lil Nas X rn. MONTERO (CMBYN) is not only such a fucking bop, LN played that moment so hard. Lil Nas is creating space.
Who has been your favorite collaboration so far in your career? Why?
I haven’t really had a full-on collaboration beyond my producers or remixers… YET!
That being said it was incredible being on the road with Dorian Electra and Charli XCX, two artists that are incredible visionaries but also incredibly generous people to their circles. Touring with Dorian was incredibly transformative for my psyche on so many complex levels. That only was able to happen because of how open they were with their process. I will treasure being a fly on the wall at that time and being a part of the DORIAN ELECTRA school for pop stars boot camp charade that it was.
In YOUR words, How do you think you differ from others in your genre?
I really try not to compare myself to others, gotta trust those instincts and keep them louder than any comparisons. But I’d say it’s just the visual package I offer up as a whole that is unique. I also really am focused on fusing modern music ideas with other eras.
Dead or alive, who would be your dream collaboration?
George Michael or Prince but Prince would undoubtedly have nothing to do with me! Lol also Dead Or Alive themselves!!!
What was the first album you purchased?
Spice Girls, SPICE. Spice Girls first US tour in 1999 was also my first live concert. 🦋
What’s your favorite song at the moment?
I’m almost always listening to Caroline Polacheks “Ocean of Tears”, or Prince – “Get off”.
What is your favorite saying or Mantra?
FUCK IT UP
ITS OK TO CRY
LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES
What other hobbies or interests do you have?
Painting, design, I love doing anything outdoors, particularly swimming, I’m a total Cancer water baby.
Tell us what the fans can expect from you in the coming months?
A full-blown cathartically cooked-up EP, more visuals, lots of looks! maybe an NFT!
Oh yeah, Babyangel69 allowed us behind the music and into his space of creativity and vulnerability. Make sure to sync in with all thinks him,