“I sing because I’m trying to tell a story, to express my messy feelings.
Torraine Futurum exudes the sort of confidence and self-determination we admire. A self-described artist and storyteller, she counts writing and music among her artistic mediums of choice. Born from the desire to share personal stories, her songs—every facet of which she produces and writes herself—are an expression of self-care. Just don’t pigeonhole her: “’Singer’ feels kind of reductive for what I do. I use music to express my messy feelings, like a diary or journal entry,” she says. We’re down.
Recording most of her music in Brooklyn, Torraine invited us to her studio-cum-workspace-cum-sanctuary, where she styled herself in some seriously killer looks from the Fall 17 collection.
“I feel most confident when I’m doing exactly what I want, without feeling the pressure of other peoples’ expectations."
“I sing because I’m trying to tell a story, to express my messy feelings. Every song serves a different purpose, though they’re all therapeutic. Sometimes, for instance, it’s to get closure, and other times I’m writing because I’m angry and I have no other way to express that.”
“I tend to pull inspiration from people who don’t work in mediums that I work in—people like Andy Warhol, Salvador Dali, Marcel Duchamp, Madonna, Naomi Campbell, Jean Michel Basquait. When I’m making music, for instance, I like to think, ‘If Salvador Dali made music, what would it sound like?’”
“Freedom, to me, means having agency. I feel like my worst self when I don’t have options. Even if the outcome isn’t ideal, I need to be making my own decisions. And I tend to do things that people don’t understand. I’ve been homeless twice—though at the time, it just felt like I was figuring stuff out. But I need my agency; without it, it’s like I’m trapped or being controlled, and my body reacts to it.”
“I feel most confident when I’m doing exactly what I want, without feeling the pressure of other peoples’ expectations. But also when I feel like my body is lookin’ right and my hair and makeup is poppin’!”
“The best piece of advice I’ve ever heard is something Madonna said: ‘Other people’s opinions of me are none of my business.’”
“I don’t collect anything tangible because I live like a nomad: my whole life can be packed up in a suitcase and a weekender bag. If I needed to leave the country, I could do it very quickly. The only things I do collect are digital. I have a big folder on my computer of beautiful photos of flowers, and screenshots of sentimental text messages and emails.”