Tori BLK
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Tori BLK

Yuma, Arizona, United States | SELF

Yuma, Arizona, United States | SELF
Band Alternative Adult Contemporary


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Your Weekly Women to Listen To: Le Bucherettes, Anbuley, Tori Black and more"

File Under: Electro-punk, new wave, queer-wave
From: California
For Fans Of: Deluka, chimichangas, New Order, The L Word, grommet belts, choppy haircuts with angled bangs, skinny jeans
Bonus: They are the cute and gay and friends of reader Chelsi!

That’s it for this week; I hope you enjoy these ladies as much as I do. As always, feel free to hit me up with suggestions, comments, criticism and money! - After Ellen

"Local singer blends '80s, modern synth-pop"

Life is short, and for Victoria Islas there is no better reason to be herself — even if that is not mainstream.

Islas, a 20-something local singer-songwriter whose stage name is Tori Black, is releasing a six-song recording online later this month dubbed “Impermanent Human.”

“You've got to live it up,” Islas said recently. “Nobody is permanent and this (recording) — that is what it stands for. Play it and rock out.”

Islas, and her good friend, Stephanie Sandate, who is also in her early 20s, are both involved in what they call the Tori Black solo project. The duo specialize in an electronic synth-pop-rock style of music heavily influenced by the New Wave genre of the 1980s, which included bands such as Tears for Fears, General Public and Flock of Seagulls.

“That '80s genre inspired us a lot,” Sandate said. “But we are very modern. Our music is smooth and clean.”

“It is different,” Islas said of “Impermanent Human.” “I don't think there are a lot of bands like us. I think it sounds '80s, but there is definitely something different about it.

“I make all the music at my little home studio. As soon as I think it is ready, and I put all the little parts together, I get my laptop and hook it up to my PA and Stephanie plays drums over it. Then we arrange it from there.”

During the interview at the Yuma Sun, Islas was sporting a mohawk with blonde highlights, a pair of black Ray-Ban-style sunglasses, a leather jacket with the collar turned up, tight zebra-patterned spandex pants and Converse shoes with a Japanese kamikaze pilot skeleton on the side.

She says she loves standing out the in the crowd.

“A lot of people just stare. Sometimes it bothers me. But then I think and realize, ‘Well, I do look kind of weird compared to everyone else.' I was born weird. I don't want to be normal. It's boring.”

Sandate says she doesn't like to stand out so much and is happy in a T-shirt and a pair of comfy jeans.

One of the songs that will be released on “Impermanent Human” is titled “Dark Madonna.” One of the lyrics from the song is: “She is dressed in black. She'll steal your heart and she'll never give it back.”

Islas said the song could be a reflection of herself.

“That is gong deep into my imagination. It is like putting two girls together — a bad girl and a pretty girl. It's a tough girl who will break your heart. You don't want to mess with her.”

“Dark Madonna” might be interpreted as a battle waging within Islas' psyche between her hardened outer shell and a nice girl trapped on the inside.

“Maybe. That's a secret. Half of it was image-wise, because that is me — black hair and tattoos — because I have tons of tattoos. The bad girl, that wasn't me. I wouldn't break hearts like that — well, maybe one.”

Islas, who said music is her full-time job, has special rituals when it comes to writing music.

“I drink tons of dark black coffee and energy drinks and then I sit there. There are nights where I don't sleep.”

Sandate, who works at a local retail store, said Islas will often call her late at night when her muse strikes.

“There will be nights where I'm just getting off of work, and I'll be dead tired, but she'll be randomly texting me ‘Hey, I just made a new song.' She is nonstop music every single day. That is her life.”

Islas got her start in music after she was given her first acoustic guitar at 5 years old. “That is my main instrument, but recently I got into the synthesizer.”

Sandate first met Islas after the latter moved to the Yuma area from California a few years ago. They started playing together in a band called Pride Before the Fall.

After their first band fell apart, Islas and Sandate remained fast friends and formed the solo project.

“Everybody went their own separate ways, and me and Victoria were the only ones who stuck to music,” Sandate said. “That was when Victoria said, ‘You know what, let's change the way we sound and start doing this.'”

That was after Islas started listening to '80s music. “I was really feeling it and there are a lot of bands coming out with that sound. It just makes you move, so I decided I wanted to make music like that.”

The duo are inseparable.

“We are best friends and we are enemies, too,” Islas said with a smile. “We argue so much, but it is normal. We get over it so quick.”

“We fight then look at each other and smile and start playing again,” Sandate agreed.

Always a lover of the local underground music scene, Islas opened a live music venue on 4th Avenue called Modern Cultures about two years ago. “I opened it because we never had a place to play.”

Sandate shared: “Before we would always have to play at parks, and police officers would always be constantly asking for permits or shutting us down.”

The venue was open for about six months but closed when many of its patrons returned to school in the fall.

“We had to close because people just weren't coming out to the shows anymore,” Islas said. “They weren't being supportive towards the end, but it was funny because for the last show, everyone was there.”

The duo plan on performing a live concert sometime in the next few months.

Read more: - Yuma Sun


Still working on that hot first release.



Tori BLK is a solo songwriter in the genre many are now calling Synth Rock. A hybrid between alternative and electronic. You will hear deep , honest, and rough female vocals along with sweet catchy sounds of guitars and synth melodies in the background.

Tori hits the stage as a Duo with live drummer Stephanie Hernandez. A duo that has jammed out since early 2006 when they joined a band together and won LATV's first and last battle of the bands located in Los Angeles, California in 2007. A few months later BOTB was cancelled and never heard of again. Later the band split up and Tori moved on with her solo career.

Catch Tori BLK's new EP "Impermanent Human" now available through all national and international digital download stores like Itunes, Amazon and AmazonMP3, Band Camp, Spotify and more!