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Tank is the “R&B General”, known for his soulful, sexy vocals, chiseled body and keen ability to make the ladies scream. Recently, the L.A. Watts Times spoke to the crooner about his journey in the music industry, how he views the future of R&B, and his super savage mentality. As Tank gears up for the Savage X The Soul Tour with Leela James, Tank says he’s excited to bring fans the best of both worlds, placing no limitations on his music, and operating in the fullness of his gifts. 

 

 

LAWT: Your hit single, “When We” sounds like a super sexy baby-making song, was this your intent?

TANK: Absolutely, it was intended to be a very aggressive baby making song. We wanted to have the soundtrack to that moment during the sexual experience where there’s a lot of furniture being moved, a lot of headboards hitting the walls. We wanted to have that and I think we might have accomplished that.

 

 

LAWT: As an R&B veteran with more than 17 years in the music game, how do you feel R&B has changed or evolved since you first started?

T: So many things have changed—music period. From the aesthetics of it, from the way it’s sang, from the way it’s written, to the sounds that we producers use, it all changes. I think we’re in a space now where back in the day; I think there used to be so many rules in terms of how you made music, and now it feels like we’re in a space where there are none, there are no rules. So, I think that’s how I’m making music right now, there are no rules for me right now. I’m just making music fearlessly and I’m being as aggressive about it as I can be. It’s my R&B, it’s how I’ve evolved, it’s where this R&B journey has taken me and it’s what I’ve become.

 

 

LAWT: Do you ever feel like you have to compromise the music you want to do for what sells?

T: No, I don’t. I sell records and my singles top the charts, but I’m still doing me. If you listen to any of my music 17 years ago to now, my music is still about a woman, for a woman, to a woman and through a woman. That’s it, and that’s what R&B means to me, I’ve always maintained that. The evolution of music is just what it is.

 

Now, if you don’t want to keep up with the evolution of music, then that’s when you get left behind and that’s when you find yourself no longer being a part of the music business. Being smart, and being a businessman, I understand rolling with the punches and understanding changes in the climate in which I’m in. I’m just rolling with the wave, and every great musician, every songwriter, every great artist should be able to do that.

 

LAWT: Tell us about the origin of your name, how’d you get it?

T: The first time anybody said “Tank” in reference to me, one of my older cousins was saying, tell that tank head boy to sit down somewhere, and my Grandmother was like ‘leave my Tank alone, that my Tank’ and that’s how I became Tank.

 

LAWT: Tell us more about the #WhenWeGirl contest. What’s been your reaction to all of the women dancing to your songs on social media?

T: Amazing. I wish that it were all my idea. I wish that I could take the credit for all these ladies doing what they do to this song, but I can’t. It just took off and once we saw it happening we just grabbed it and ran with it, and co-promoted it and became a part of it, but it’s what the song did. The song just became a phenomenon and I’m so happy it did. Us looking for this #WhenWeGirl is just giving women an opportunity to get something from it. They get views, and I repost them and all this cool stuff but I’d like to give a gift to somebody and that’s where the Red Bottoms come in.

 

LAWT: What can we expect from the upcoming Savage X The Soul Tour?

T: On this leg, it’s me and Leela. So, she has her soul thing and I have my savage thing. So, we’re just throwing all of our fans in one building and exposing all of them to something different. My fans are more aggressive but they’re going to get some old school soul, and then her fans, who are used to the more traditional style of R&B, they’re going to get some aggression, this aggressive savagery, which I hope that they’re ready for. It’s going to be a dope give and take and I think that’s why we put it together that way.

 

 

 

LAWT: Why is it so important for you to mentor younger artists on the rise?

T: I think it’s important to pass the game along, to share the information. I’m a crooner, my music is to me like Marvin Gaye, and those guys, those guys affected me. In order for that music to continue to have life, it’s got to be shared with the next generation and the generation after that.

 

A lot of people didn’t share it with me, outside of Ginuwine, who was really there for me, guys didn’t share that information with me. There was nobody holding my hand or walking me through this, I had to learn on my own. If I can help any artist in any way shape or form alleviate some of the headache of what this business is and just help them get to the music, then that’s what I want to do.

 

Tank recently reached #1 on the Billboard Adult R&B Chart category for his single “When We” and released his album “SAVAGE” this fall. For more information on Tank’s SAVAGE X THE SOUL Tour with Leela James, visit www.therealtank.com.

Category: Cover Stories