Initially, when you think of Tank, the first thought that surfaces in your mind is "the ladies man". Well... he's still winning the many hearts of the vast beautiful women across the world... That's never gonna change.
However, the 8 Time GRAMMY® Nominated soul crooner thinks it's time for a change - musically. Completely reinventing his sound with his newest work, "You're My Star" -- which landed #9 on Billboard's Top 100 list. Preparing for his new album release, "Stronger", Tank has some surprises up his sleeves 'off the record' for his loyal fans. No spoilers here in this opener! Check out the conversation HF®'s very own Clark Kennedy had with the soulful, living legend himself.
Hey Tank! Thanks for checking in to chat with us! We truly appreciate your time.
Hey man, it’s my pleasure!
You've worked with a lot of people throughout your career--what is your most memorable collaboration?
(Thinking Intently) Would have to say CB -- Chris Brown with the “Shots Fired”video/record. It was very different for me.. But at the same time, it was very fun to step out of the norm and approach music from a different stance. It was such a cool video shoot. This guy’s dancing all over the place (lol) and fire’s shooting out of the set everywhere… That was a GREAT break from the normal Tank. This would have to be one of my greatest memorable moments.
Wow, that’s really cool! Now just to clarify something… The media really doesn’t show love to Chris Brown as of recent. They paint him out to be this bad guy… We at HF® don't believe this to be true. From your time working with him, he’s not really like that, is he?
No. NOT- AT - ALL. He’s an awesome guy. The media is always about being objective. They never publicize the good in people. That guy has done a lot of charitable contributions and helped so many people. They never talk about those things he’s done. How many people he’s helped get into the business and the support he showed upcoming artists who were following their passions and dreams.. They never publicized that. The media business can speak on people very negatively. And as long as we never feed into these things and are smarter than that, we'll always know that there is always two sides to a story.
What is the biggest difference for you when you produce a record, compared to when you had your first hit (which you produced on an MPC and two keyboards in your mom's basement)?
You mean the difference now? Definitely a lot faster than back in those days! (Chuckling) Technology has advanced tremendously. Back then, you had to plug in a lot of wires, and do a lot of things manually, which was way more difficult. If you wanted certain sounds, you would have create everything yourself from different external modules and patches… Or in some cases, even wait until you got into a studio to add the things that you wanted. (lol) But now, everything is right underneath your fingertips, with just a touch of a button, you know? With just a computer and simple programs and equipment, anything you can imagine creating, can be made on the spot. No more waiting for mixes and mastering… It can be done right there. Since all this, it has given a lot more freedom in curating material. There are no more excuses for people to use, you know? (laughing)
Agreed! Definitely understand that. If you don't mind me asking, what programs do you use now compared to back then, to create your material?
I use Logic.
Really?! I know a couple of buddies that produce who use that program. It seems to be becoming the new standard in the industry of recording & production. A lot of people say that it’s really easy to use and obviously -- very simple & easy to manage.
Well, if you're producing, you can have everything you need – right there. All your different plugins and instruments, as well as vocals (if recording), right in front of you, in real time.
Aside from anything you're involved with, is there anything that you are currently excited about, musically?
Umm… The main thing right now would be, Re introducing some of the elements in music that haven’t been produced in a while. Creating music with great content and quality.. And…Most importantly, Reintroducing those moments that music brought entire families closer together. Nowadays, music has found its way into separating the household. In one room, the kids are listening to songs that are OVERTLY ratchet, and inappropriate. In another room, the parents are grooving to what they grew up on, you know? The good, quality music. Im excited that the opportunity to re introduce good, quality music to the people is open and available again.
We read the recent Men's Fitness Q & A about your workout mantra. “What would Mayweather do?” Honestly in our opinion, that's such a unique and refreshing way to stay motivated! Explain the importance of your fitness training regimen. How does it impact your lifestyle? Career? Touring? We're all ears...
Being healthy is very important. Fitness really pours over into everything. If the blood is flowing right, the heart is pumping right, the brain is working right… It really helps a person accomplish anything that they are doing, professionally & personally. For me, fitness is helping me musically, It helps with my singing.. Whereas for other people in different career professions it can benefit – from the pro athlete or to the daily labor worker, like guys in construction.. You know what I mean? But overall, my goal is to continue working to improving the body. Ultimately, you look and feel better. For me, it’s a necessary lifestyle. I don’t just workout to get prepared for things. It’s just something that I do, that I'll be apart of – forever.
I can take a few pointers from you Tank… I gotta get myself back in the Gym and get myself back right! You walk around, and you make all the ladies melt!
(Laughing) To get there it physically starts in the gym, but most importantly, it has to be a mental lifestyle change for the better. For me, I enjoy the daily challenge, but for other people? It varies amongst their personal goals.
There are millions of aspiring singers/songwriters, dedicating their lives to their crafts on a daily basis. Being an 8 time GRAMMY® nominated artist yourself, we're pretty sure that you harness knowledge & wisdom that would be beneficial to the talented upcoming artists/songwriters across the globe...
On a professional level, it’s similar to being an athlete. You have to be able to identify what’s currently going on and be competitive -- AND aware of what you're actually going up against in this industry. A lot of people create music for themselves within their own personal bubbles, and are not creating music that can be successfully placed for the likes of the people. In order to be successful in this industry, people have to listen to what’s out. Other artists, producers… Study other performers… And figure out what’s gonna work – and what’s not. And ultimately, at the end of the day, upcoming artists have to be willing to compete on that “professional” level. You know… there’s only 100 spaces on the Billboard chart.. If you’re not on that list, then you know you got some serious work to do. Whatever style of artistry you choose, do it to the best of your abilities. Compete & fight hard to make what you're doing work.
Wow. People honestly need to hear that. That’s real truth right there.
Lastly, are you releasing a new album anytime this year -- or at least soon? We see that you're pretty busy touring the world at the moment. Give us the scoop, if you wouldn't mind sharing?
Well, my newest single “You're My Star” is number 9 on Billboard charts currently. We currently dropped a new video for “You're My Star” (see below) – which at the moment, is doing well & going crazy right now with the fans. I'm also working hard on new music that’s redefining my style moving forward.. We've also created the “You’re my Star” nationwide contest online for upcoming artists, where we're looking to pick one lucky winner (out of many submissions) – who in turn get the opportunity to sing with me at this years 2014 Essence Festival, sponsored by Coca-Cola, which will be a really huge thing for that.. I'll be performing at this years BET Experience, where i'll be performing live.. Working on some new campaigns , which will be going strong pretty soon to promote my new album “Stronger” that will be dropping on August 12th of 2014. Then 30 days prior to the album’s release, we're firing out a fitness challenge campaign called “Stronger U”, where everybody will be able to participate with me on a physical/mental health standpoint ..Where we'll have workout tips, dieting advice, daily motivations & thoughts for the day, for those seeking to change their daily lifestyle. We're gonna do it all during this 30 day challenge! After the album drops, this promo won't be over! We're gonna keep it going! “Stronger U” or Stronger Universe is my new fitness brand that will continue to inspire people to attain their fitness goals and to live a healthier, stronger lifestyle. And I want that inspiration to start with this album right here.
Man that’s awesome! I'm definitely gonna check out the Stronger U challenge for myself! I'm about 2 jamaican beef patties away from being obese! (joking) This has inspired me to get myself right too man!
Yeah, it'a work for you brother! And put them BEEF PATTIES DOWN! (joking) Step away…. From them beef patties… (laughing) Drop that beef patty! We don’t need u getting overweight man!
But overall, it’s just really nice to see that your reinventing your style with a purpose. Especially one that’s beneficial for your fans. A very beautiful thing it is. Thank you for your time man, I really appreciate rapping with you for a sec!
No, I appreciate you brother! Thank you for your time!