Why BLACKSTARKIDS Named Their Debut Album Puppies Forever
Musical trio BLACKSTARKIDS may not be a household name just yet, but they're a group that absolutely needs to be on your radar.
The band is made up of friends Ty, Deiondre and The Babe Gabe from Kansas City, Missouri, who found common ground when they realized they all loved the same kind of music. Eventually, a band formed and the rest is history—leading up to the release of their debut album, Puppies Forever last week and a huge North American tour supporting beabadoobee and Christian Leave starting in November.
We're positively obsessed, and we got the chance to ask the band all about their formation, what this album means to them and what the future will bring.
Sweety High: Can you tell us a little bit about how the band formed? How did your musical tastes bring you together?
Ty: We bonded a lot over our musical taste. Toro Y Moi and Blood Orange are like the two main ones. Also MGMT, Tyler the Creator, Kanye, N*E*R*D*, Daft Punk and A Tribe Called Quest are huge inspirations. We listen to a lot of Tribe. Yeah, those are really some of the biggest ones.
The Babe Gabe: We all met in high school through Ty because he went to both Raytown South and Raytown High Schools. We were making music separately, he was making music with me and then Deiondre, and then one day we decided "Yo, we should try to do this all together!" and then we made Let's Play Sports!
Deiondre: This band literally formed over a FaceTime call. Ty was thinking about it for a little bit and then he just FaceTimes me after I get off work and he's like, "Yo. So… BLACKSTARKIDS." He literally just said the name and I was like, "…nice" and then he's like, "You wanna make this group called that?"
The Babe Gabe: Next thing you know, there's a group chat and he added me in there and it was called BLACKSTARKIDS and I was like… let's get it!
Deiondre: We hung out the first couple of times, just seeing what the vibe was like and listening to music—that's where we first listened to Toro and Blood Orange together. But yeah, that first hang out, though—I already knew Ty, but me and Gabe didn't really say much to each other at all. But I mean, we live together now!
SH: How excited are you to be releasing your debut album?
Deiondre: Hella! We're gonna party so hard tonight. We're super excited. We've been waiting for this album to come out for months.
The Babe Gabe: Since we made "Jimmy Neutron," I was like "Dude, I'm ready for this to come out right now."
SH: What does the album name Puppies Forever mean to you?
Ty: Basically, it's about maintaining a sense of youth for as long as you can. Not being afraid to grow, but also maintaining some of your youth. And having our youth being documented forever within the music that we make, we'll always be able to tap back into it.
SH: Do you feel like there's a major theme running across the songs on the album? If so, what is it?
Deiondre: With this album, a lot of the songs are about relationships, but most importantly our friendships. In some songs, we'll be talking about some sad stuff we've gone through or something like that, but at the end of it, we need our friends. It's pretty much just us, having each other, having somebody to fall back. I think that's running through most of the songs.
SH: Do you have a favorite track on the album? If so, which one, and what's your favorite lyric from the track?
The Babe Gabe: Mine would be "Jimmy Neutron" and my favorite lyric is "This the coldest trio since A Tribe Called Quest." We really look up to them and I love saying that sh**.
Ty: "Jimmy," "Time Flies," "Pals." Those are all favorites. And my favorite lyric on the whole album? I mean, it's not even my lyric or any of our lyrics. But when I said, "Wake up in the morning feeling like P Diddy."
Deiondre: My favorite is "Piss Drunk Kids." That's one of them. It's a fun one. And I literally just say "let's get drunk." I love shouting that. It's been fun playing that live, just to get people in the crowd to say it.
SH: Do you have any extra memorable moments from the album's recording process?
Deiondre: We were writing a lot of tail end of the album in an Airbnb together. The first one we stayed in was like—how long did we stay in there? A month?
The Babe Gabe: Yeah, a month.
Deiondre: Damn! It was fun. It was a lot of wine-drinking, trauma dumping, stuff like that. It was also our first time just spending the night together in a house. We hadn't lived with each other yet.
The Babe Gabe: Our first little writer's retreat.
Deiondre: And when we went to the George Floyd protests, too.
Ty: That was like the first thing that kind of sparked the album. I don't even think Whatever, Man had come out yet, but that's when we first came up with a lot of the feelings you see on the album. Yeah, that's definitely a very memorable moment.
Deiondre: It was hella crazy stuff. So much happened within the two days we went and it just put a drive, like a battery in our backs to say "make a new album." We just felt like we had to say something. We had all this built-up energy.
SH: Is there anything we should know about your upcoming tour? What's the most exciting part of getting to travel the nation and share your music?
Ty: Being on the road, with Bea especially, and Christian Leave. Meeting them and meeting new people every night. And going to places we never been before.
The Babe Gabe: Just seeing how different crowds react and different cities, everybody has their own energy. So it's always fun to see what cities go crazy.
SH: Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Deiondre: Shoutout to Lil Durk! Shoutout Michael Cera! Go listen to the new album. It is a good time.
The Babe Gabe: Go listen to the new album. Share it with your mom and your dad and your sisters and brothers.
Deiondre: Do something fun while listening to it. And also come see us on tour with beabadoobee and Christian Leave! It's a lot of dates and we've been having a ton of fun performing. It's gonna be a fun time, for sure.
For more info on BLACKSTARKIDS' tour with beabadoobee and Christian Leave, check out her tour page HERE, and check out the full album below!
If you love discovering incredible new music, click HERE to find out how AUSTN captured the emotion of new love in his new song "Touch."