Trans model Torraine Futurum extends her range with the release of her debut album


The young model Torraine Futurum, who refers to her age as "timeless," is making sure to keep up the breakneck pace of her accomplishment-ridden 2016 in the new year.

Last year, Futurum walked the runway for Gypsy Sport,  Gogo GrahamBarragán and Vaquera during New York Fashion Week. 

P.S. She also appeared in the music video for Carly Rae Jepsen's "Boy Problems." 

P.P.S. She also landed her first magazine cover, on Candy magazine's 10th issue.


Now, proving sleep is Futurum's proverbial "I don't know her," Futurum is gearing up for the release of her debut album, Colonial, on Jan. 9. Futurum wrote, recorded and co-produced (with Alex Freedom) the entire 12-track LP. 

"Originally, I wanted to put on an art show to put all of my digital artwork from my series Transgression: A Self-Centered Art Project on display for extended network of New York friends," Futurum said. "I had planned to make a short, mostly spoken-word soundtrack to play during the event. But then I got so excited while conceptualizing the soundtrack that I scrapped planning an art show and decided to work fully on a full-length concept album. So instead of making sparse music that would have supported the 'real' art, I decided to make the album the art." 

Below, Mic chats with the model-turned-singer ahead of the album's release.

Mic: You conquered the world of fashion in 2016. Here we are now, 2017, and you're storming the music scene. Why now?

TF: I always knew I would at some point. I just feel so strongly about music and the ability to tell a story in that beautiful way that I knew it would happen. Why now? It's just when all the stars aligned. 

You're doing everything on this album: vocals, songwriting, audio mixing. What's been the most artistically rewarding?

TF: The most rewarding has been the writing for me. There's so many lines in this work that I wrote years ago and thought they should be heard, but I just didn't know how. There are things on this album that I say about people that I've never gotten the chance to say to their faces. Writing this was so cathartic. I'm hoping once it's all out there, I can finally get some closure and move on from the more painful parts of the album. 

What would you describe as the main themes of the album?

TF: The main themes on the album are Death, Depression, Love, Emotion, Abuse/Betrayal and a slew of 'isms'/phobias like racism, transphobia, capitalism, etc. It's mostly alternative R&B and dream pop. 

How is Torraine the musician different from Torraine the model?

TF: I think Torraine the musician, first of all, has a lot more freedom and agency. This is all my conception. And also Torraine the musician is a lot more intense. On Colonial, I reveal very dark parts of me. On songs like "Snakes" or "Bloodbath," I talk about things I just haven't before. The lyrics are literally pages from my journal entries. I hope it presents me in a more well-rounded way. I honestly see this album of a prequel to current-day Torraine. And also a prequel to more music that might come. 

Who inspires you the most? I'm definitely getting Dawn Richard vibes.

TF: I can't name check references! It always makes me anxious. But there are some powerful black women on my list of inspirations. I will say that I really admire musicians that make cohesive, focused albums that tell different parts of a focused story.

Has the music industry not been good to trans artists or do listeners need to do more in terms of seeking them out?

TF: You know, there are trans people in all sectors of art. It's definitely about seeking them out. We exist everywhere. You just have to be intentional and champion those who are not being represented in mainstream or even smaller indie spaces in art. 

Name three other trans musicians we ought to get into.

Off the top of my head, all I can think about is Quay Dash's amazing EP Transphobic she put out last year. A black trans woman rapper. She's so incredibly talented. 

Colonial will be streaming on Soundcloud and available for download and streaming on Bandcamp (pay what you wish) on Jan. 9.