Photos by Jeremy Safer
Millions of teenagers dream of becoming famous musicians, but without access to endless funds or the connections that result from nepotism, it’s almost impossible to know how to even begin the journey. Lyzzie Larosa, better known as Baby Chaos, may have figured out the cheat code to make it solo in 2022.
“When I was 14 I attended the Alternative Press Music Awards and was introduced to this new world of alternative bands. I was like, ‘Oh wow, this is absolutely what I want to do,'” says Larosa. “But I was 14 and I was like, ‘I’m going to focus on eighth grade for now, and when I’m 18 I’m going to deal with that.’ By the time I turned 18, social media had begun its full takeover and I decided to get started [my career] the digital way. That way I would have a platform for my art and I wanted to do all of that before embarking on my journey as a musician publicly.”
Larosa didn’t know it at the time, but she had made an extremely smart marketing decision. Many of today’s biggest musicians started out as social media stars, and if you take a look at trending music charts, TikTok is driving the popularity more than any other source. Larosa chose to make a name for herself on Instagram, making a name for herself through modeling and her love of alternative rock. “I was just expecting to hit 10,000 followers on Instagram and then drop the music,” says Larosa. “But then 10km came and went because there was a point where I kind of exploded. Then 90,000 came and I was like, ‘Okay, now’s the time.’”
At this point, Baby Chaos was a decade in the making. After falling in love with bands like Evanescence, Larosa taught herself to play the piano and wrote her own music. Music was second nature to her and it became her way of coping with feelings of isolation. “I think the best way to describe my upbringing was lonely,” she says. “I was being bullied and the only way I knew how to channel that pain was through writing music. I didn’t really connect it to other things to create an image, I just said how badly I was hurt and that was all I could do to escape. But over time I’ve learned to take that pain, fear or anger and combine so many other things with it to create something beautiful. I think it’s a really incredible ability to take something that you’re afraid of or that hurt you and then turn it into something you love.”
In those 10 years of writing music, Larosa has learned a lot about herself and how she wants to be represented. She went through hundreds of songs, spent hours writing, rewriting, crumpling up her work and starting over. She put all the work in so that once she was ready to finally share her art, she knew exactly what first impression she wanted to make.
“When I was 18 or 19, I went through such a tough time looking for love in other people from the outside,” says Larosa. “I’ve never found that strength within myself and [her single ‘flesh’] It’s about finding that power. It finds strength through destruction and things that almost take you away. It’s about building from the ashes, trying to find that love through other people, being hurt by it, falling over and continuing to build yourself.”
Larosa wrote from the heart, and despite her misgivings, her fan base showed her love and support. This encouraged her to continue making music and soon she began releasing single after single. Now Larosa is officially in EP mode and preparing to release her first full project.
“The catalog of songs I have at the moment is everywhere, but my goal wasn’t necessarily to refine anything, but to create what I feel,” says Larosa. “A big theme for me will always be along the same lines as ‘meat,’ which is [how] taking something that almost destroyed you and turning it into something that drives you. It sounds very cinematic so far and the songs come from things that would happen to me that I don’t really know how else to deal with.”
As with her earliest inspiration, Evanescence, optics will play a big part in Larosa’s upcoming EP. One of the central symbolic and visual themes of the entire project is religion, which Larosa portrays not only through her melodious lyrics and haunting photographs, but also through her tattoo collection. “I don’t identify as Catholic, but I just got two crosses tattooed on my stomach and already had a cathedral window on my hand,” says Larosa. “I grew up Roman Catholic and had some frightening experiences growing up because I was so connected to this world. But it feels liberating to go back and look at those stained glass windows, the red carpets, the pews and just be there.”
Lyzzie Larosa may not follow any particular religion, but there is something undeniably divine about her path to success. She was destined to find music and discover her passion at such a young age. She chose early on to invest her energies in social media, which couldn’t have worked better in her favor. Now that an EP is on the way, it’s time for them to take an even bigger leap of faith.