Photos by Christina Mannino, Styled by Miss Velvet
When I first met Baby Raptors, aka Tora, a couple of years ago, I wasn't surprised to find out she was working on a new album. With pink hair (at the time) and a bold sense of style, it was hard to miss Tora at Montauk's Surf Lodge -- she already looked like a pop star -- and her bright, fearless personality only added to her presence. I never knew what to expect when I saw Tora next: What color would her hair be? What dope look would she be wearing? And that is the magic of this budding music phenom -- she's full of surprises. I was stoked to get a chance to catch up with Tora about her new release and what's to come this year. Get the full scoop on what lies ahead for Baby Raptors in her CULT Chat below>>
WHY NEW YORK CITY?
I'm a born and raised New Yorker, so it's all I've ever known and wanted. I feel inspired to evolve visiting other cities like Paris or London, but nothing gets me charged like seeing that NYC skyline again when returning home- it looks like it's saying "take your best shot".
THE CITY NEVER SLEEPS...WHAT TIME DID YOU GET TO BED LAST NIGHT?
Midnight. I was unpacking boxes from my move into my new place in Brooklyn. Music blasting, a bottle (or two) of red wine...I crawled into bed exhausted but excited for a new chapter.
PLAY HOST FOR US... WHERE WOULD YOU TAKE US FOR
COFFEE - Ground Support on W. Broadway. Don't expect a cheerful smile from your barista, but they make a mean almond milk latte and the bagels get delivered fresh every morning around 7:30am.
DINNER - Blue Ribbon Bakery on Downing St. Fried chicken is amazing, but their chocolate chip bread pudding is the best dessert in the city...trust me!
COCKTAILS - Randolph Brooklyn has an amazing new "Pumpkin Sour" they just added to the cocktail list and I love hearing all the Aussie accents floating through.
PARTYING - Speaking of Aussies, my favorite party is new restaurant hot spot Harbor, in Montauk, run by Australian nightlife king, Jamo Willis. Obviously, it's just a summer spot- but I don't think anything will top that dance party. Although I hear a rumor about a NYC pop-up....
WHO ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?
I pretty much eat, sleep and breathe EDM. I currently have Calvin Harris & Disciples "How Deep is Your Love" on rinse and repeat. Unless I'm cooking dinner...then it's Frank Sinatra.
FAVORITE PROJECT SO FAR?
This project with Party Supplies. It was so casual, no pressure. We just made what we would listen to - there was no one to tell us what and how and when.
ANY CREATIVES YOU WANT TO COLLABORATE WITH?
I would collaborate with my sister, Miss Velvet. Our music careers have always gone in different directions, but we've kept a very open feedback loop of creativity between us. She inspires me all the time to evolve. It would be amazing if one day it made sense for our careers to cross paths.
ARE YOU A "REGULAR" ANYWHERE?
I have "family" night once a week at the best shabu place in the city, but I'm not going to tell you where it is because it's a hole in the wall with only 15 seats...and I'm selfish.
DREAM DINNER PARTY -- WHICH 7 GUESTS WOULD YOU INVITE?
Dali, Nietsche, Groucho Marx, Fu Manchu, Einstein, Stalin, and Charlie Chaplin... So I could compare history's most famous mustaches in person. I love a good 'stache.
WHAT'S YOUR SIGNATURE LOOK?
I don't have one signature look. My "signature" is that I have many looks. I love being a chameleon and playing dress up. My favorites are retro pin-up, harajuku and then what I call "bum with sweatpants".
DO YOU HAVE A MUSE?
I've said it once, I'll say it a million times. Freddie Mercury changed everything for me. I don't try to emulate his music or style (anymore...My career started with rock and piano ballads) but seeing footage of him live is what triggered me to pursue music as a profession.
I have a dream about living the island life in Bermuda. Wearing no shoes for a year and going everywhere by scooter. But New York City is spun through every fibre of my being. I would miss the grit too much.
MOTTO YOU LIVE BY?
You determine everything. Failure is just a matter of perspective. As is happiness. As is art.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AND WHERE CAN WE SEE IT?
I'm completing the second single I did with Party Supplies. The world will see it...when it's done. I've learned not to put a date on creation, it's just too fluid.
WOULD YOU RATHER
CINDY CRAWFORD or KATE MOSS
MORNING OR NIGHT
Morning- as my dad used to say, "nothing good happens after midnight".
UPTOWN OR DOWNTOWN
Downtown. Without a hesitation.