Torin Messer Embodies Fluid Creativity

Photography by Felicia Balderrama

Breaking into the creative economy is an exercise of patience and hard graft. Among the millions of people vying for attention, it is easy to fade into the noise. This is one of the reasons that Torin Messer has spent much of his life dabbling in different creative mediums, diversifying his talent as a videographer, rapper, and fashion designer to ensure he defies the one-trick pony label.

Messer’s creative endeavors began during his nomadic childhood, living in Colorado, Washington, and Indiana, where he’s spent most of his life. Inspired by Jackass and MTV, Messer found himself behind the video camera at a young age, documenting what he and his friends would get up to while hanging out.

Recalling his childhood, Messer says it is difficult to identify with somewhere that he calls home.

“I feel like a mutt – I don’t really have a hometown,” says Messer.

But when it comes to his music, Messer uses his unsettled childhood as his muse.

“Being the new person in a different area, people don’t always understand your entire backstory,” says Messer. “I almost feel compelled to speak on that, so the listeners get a better understanding of who I am.” 

More recently, Messer has expanded his creative output to fashion design– releasing unique pieces through his brand Messy Bleaches. Messy Bleaches started as a hobby, whereby Messer upcycled thrifted t-shirts to give them a new edge through bleaching. But this hobby quickly garnered the attention of his peers, generating more interest than Messer had initially imagined.

“I’ve always had this affection for the distressed look. I just kind of picked it up as a hobby,” says Messer. “I eventually set up shop on Instagram. It’s taken off in its own weird way– it’s awesome.” 

Up to this point, Messer believes his experiences have been one big lesson. As though he’s not fully firing creatively. But along the way, moments like placing in the top fifteen of the viral One Take Contest are what inspire him to continue creating.

For now, Messer has a modest number of songs on major streaming platforms. But, as he’s settled into life in Indianapolis, rubbing shoulders with artists he once looked up to, Messer’s been working meticulously on curating a cohesive body of work, which combined with his talents as a videographer and fashion designer, he hopes will create a splash upon its release later this year.

“Right now, I’m sitting on a load of songs that I am ready to record and put out. I’ve been working closely with Round Table Recording Company and hopefully we’ll be able to craft this dream together. Not only the way I want, but the way that it deserves to be,” says Messer.

“This whole project is going back to telling my story and conveying who I am,” says Messer. “I’ve been waiting for the opportunity to make a good debut for myself, and I think that this project coming could be that.”

Keep up with Torin on Instagram

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