Baby Yors taps into a deep well of chic inspirations for "Bad Influence," the video for his latest track, which dropped last week. A grainy, smoky slice of queer iconography, the clip marks Baby's first major video in roughly two years, and the first under his new name (he previously recorded music as RESH).
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His key inspiration was 1950's Un Chant d'Amor, Jean Genet's movie milestone about queer men in prison. But there are also shades of Catwoman; loads of androgynous fashion; and a guest appearance from Baby's friend, America's Next Top Model contestant Khrystyana. And did we catch some flashes of Perfect Fit cock rings?
"It felt very organic," Baby says of the video's intermittent risque content. "I never felt like we had to push it. Un Chant d'Amor is far more explicit in what it shows. I think sex is just embedded in the video's DNA."
And so is the mysterious link between the video's pair of thieves (played by Baby and actor Peter Forde), who may or may not be two Clydes with little interest in Bonnie. Just like in Un Chant d'Amor, the men inhale each other's cigarette smoke through a prison wall they share, and they show a yearning for what might have been before being locked up for their crime.
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"It's sort of a bromance," Baby says. "They're really good friends, but there's an erotic connection there, for sure--especially when they're breathing the same smoke."
For Baby, the prison setting can take on multiple meanings, but one relates to queer people oppressed by certain environments. "Sometimes, if you're gay in a small town," he says, "and everyone around you is--or seems to be--straight, you can feel like you're in a jail cell. But you still have physical necessities, like sexual desire, so there is definitely a parallel between the video's setting and that sort of sentiment."
Two years ago, Baby spent the night in a jail cell himself, after an altercation with a thief led to his being investigated. He shared cell space with a handful of strangers, and eventually sang Etta James's "At Last" to ease the tension. He soaked in the experience, and it was one more thing that sparked the genesis of "Bad Influence."
"This idea came to me years ago," Baby says, "and then things would happen in my life to enhance the idea. I spent a lot of time with my male friends, smoked weed, and made so much music--I was living like a rock star. And I became fascinated with the way I interacted with males. Some could be cautious and distant, while others could be affectionate, or even curious, if only of me as a person. And I tried to pour all of that into the story of the two men in the video. Maybe they're lovers, but I leave that to the viewer."
"Bad Influence" will be followed by Baby's next track, "GoGo Girl," set for release this spring.
Music Video: A Prose Productions Release
Photography by Rachel Brennecke
Styling by Brandon M. Garr
Hair: Nate Juergensen
Makeup: Seiya Iibuchi
Special thanks: Perfect Fit Brand