Art, Fashion, & a Theatrical Flair: Breaking Down the Viral Rise of Pop Baby’s “Oppressor”
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Art, Fashion, & a Theatrical Flair: Breaking Down the Viral Rise of Pop Baby’s “Oppressor”

Pop Baby, hailing from Pittsburgh’s club circuit, has catapulted onto the international stage with his debut album Oppressor. A vibrant blend of pop, EDM, and pop punk, his music exudes a nostalgic yet fresh vibe, balancing personal emotions with a desire to create lasting memories. His music draws inspiration from the likes of Lady Gaga, Kesha, Panic! At The Disco, and 3OH!3. Helping launch him into the spotlight, Pop Baby recently released a viral short film for his popular track, “Unstoppable”. Fusing performance art, modern tech, and fashion, Pop Baby sees these elements as integral to his artistic vision. With so much hype, creativity, and energy surrounding his new releases, Idols 2 Rivals was excited for the opportunity to catch up with Pop Baby in an exclusive interview, transcribed below, to delve deep into his artistic vision and future plans.

Idols 2 Rivals (I2R): Welcome, Pop Baby! Can you start by telling us about your journey from Pittsburgh’s club circuit to the international stage with your album “Oppressor”?

Pop Baby (PB): Playing in the Pittsburgh club circuit has opened many doors for me and has introduced me to so many people I’m still close with today. I got most of my inspiration for writing songs from experiences at shows and going to dive bars and nightclubs with my friends. After performing live for a long time and working with my producer, I got signed to DO IT Records and started working on my debut album (Oppressor).

I2R: Your sound blends pop, EDM, and pop punk. What drew you to this particular mix of genres?

PB: This kind of music just fills me up with energy and passion. This type of music just makes you want to let loose and have a good time which is something we all need to do every now and then.

I2R: Artists like Lady Gaga, Kesha, Panic! At The Disco, and 3OH!3 have influenced your music. How do these influences manifest in your work?

PB: As someone who came from a musical theatre background, I love performing. These artists have high stage presences and have captivated audiences for a long time and that is something I aspire to do too.

I2R: The single “Unstoppable” seems to be a very personal track. Can you share the story behind its creation and what it means to you?

PB: I wrote this song from a very defeated place. Many music industry executives told me I have to be a TIKTOK star or already be established to have a big break but I just want to form my own path and go against the narrative to become my own star and have my own fame that only my fans and I understand. The song is about going after something you want regardless of what gets in your way. You have to work really hard for your dreams and the journey is the most memorable part of it all.

I2R: Your music carries a nostalgic yet fresh feel. How do you balance these two elements in your songwriting and production?

PB: I just write about what I’m feeling and what certain elements make me happy. Nostalgic music makes me feel alive and reminds me of good memories and I want my own music to reflect that.

I2R: The video for “Unstoppable” is described as a short film. What inspired this approach, and how was the experience of shooting it?

PB: I wanted to create my own “Thriller” video, like Michael Jackson. I felt like this song has such a powerful message that a simple video just wouldn’t be enough. So my colleagues and I all got together and pitched ideas around and we spent three whole days filming and directing. We even got up at 4AM to film the train scenes but we had a blast filming it!

I2R: Your work showcases a strong blend of performance art, modern tech, and fashion. How do these elements complement your musical vision?

PB: The fashion and imagery are just as important as the music and the live show. My fashion is a way of expressing my mood and the modern tech and visual elements are a representation of my artistic vision.

I2R: Facing rejection in the music industry can be tough. How did you overcome these challenges and stay motivated?

PB: I just reminded myself that this is a business and that I have to remember that it’s very competitive. Not everyone is going to understand you, but as long as I am happy with who I am that’s all that matters.

I2R: Can you discuss the role of Pittsburgh in shaping your musical identity and how it influences your work?

Pittsburgh is such an iconic city and I’ve seen so many talented artists come and go through my city. I want my work to be a part of history and to show the world that you can come from a city like Pittsburgh and still make it in show business.

I2R: “Oppressor” is more than just an album; it’s an auditory adventure. What do you want your listeners to feel or experience when they listen to it?

PB: I want my fans to have the courage to become whatever they want to be in life and not let the media or the government define their narrative. If they have a dream, fight for it, don’t let social media influencers or business people tell you what you can and cannot be.

I2R: In what ways do you see yourself reshaping the norms of the music industry?

PB: I don’t necessarily feel like I’m “reshaping” the music industry. I refer to myself as a musician who is NOT in the music industry. I want my fans to see that you don’t need millions of dollars, tens of thousands of instagram or TIKTOK followers or all the fanciest things in the world to be a star. As long as you have the talent and passion to do something, then congratulations, you’ve made it!

I2R: You’ve mentioned the importance of theatrics in your performances. How do you incorporate this into your live shows?

PB: I choreograph all my live shows. Being animated and theatrical on stage is very important to me and it makes the fans go crazy and have a good time. That’s my favorite part.

I2R: What role do collaborations play in your music, especially considering the cinematic aspect of your music videos?

PB: Collaborations are more fun with other creative people because the more the better. We all have specific visions in our heads and when we combine them and put them together magic just happens!

I2R: Looking back at your journey so far, what advice would you give to aspiring artists who are just starting out?

PB: Get off social media, go to a city and write songs all day long, play as many shows, PAID shows, as you can, and just be who you are because that’s what’s going to make you stand out the most!

I2R: Finally, what’s next for Pop Baby?

PB: To take over the world, one melody at a time.

 

 

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