Culture

R&B singer Tank is ‘Stronger’ than ever

Thu., May. 8, 2014 11:33 AM EDT
by Souleo
Tank/Courtesy Atlantic Records

Tank/Courtesy Atlantic Records

On the “A” w/Souleo

Cultural influencers convened to hear a “new” Tank at Harlem’s Cheri restaurant during a private listening party produced by Sidra Smith. As guests sipped on Hendrick’s Gin cocktails courtesy of the La Bodega 47 Social Club pop-up bar, Tank played songs from his forthcoming Stronger album. Included in the playback was the upbeat single “You’re My Star” which reflects his more positive outlook on romance.

“With every previous album I made, I was just breaking up with somebody or there was a bunch of cheating going on,” he told the audience. “So this is the first time I did an album from being completely happy and the subject matter and tempo reflect it.”

An upbeat attitude isn’t the only change for Tank. He’s also less competitive and more self-assured in his own musical talents this time around. “I always wanted to out-sing and out-produce everybody and I am past that. I found peace within who I am. I don’t have to put it on every record, do every vocal run or write every deep lyric on every song. But when the interludes kick in on this album, I go ham,” he said.

Arturo O’Farrill tributes father’s Afro-Latin jazz legacy

Arturo O'Farrill/Courtesy Apollo Theater

Arturo O’Farrill/Courtesy Apollo Theater

Many years ago, if you had asked Arturo O’Farrill to pay tribute to the music legacy of his father, Chico O’Farrill, he would have likely refused. During his early adulthood the Grammy-winning jazz composer shunned the music of his father due to a lack of pride in Latin culture that he felt growing up in a predominantly white, middle-class Manhattan neighborhood.

“I grew up in an environment with virtually no Hispanics where you see only people in your culture in custodial jobs. I had a messed up image of what we bring to this nation. My father was known as a pioneering figure in Cuban music but I still associated him with everything that was negative in my neighborhood,” he recalled. “I could not have been more mistaken.”

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