A lot of people remember Tank from the hit single “Maybe I Deserve,” but like a flash in the night – he was gone. Clinches’ like “one hit wonder” and “over night success” came to many people’s mind. While we were assuming that he was just some guy who got lucky, Tank was working behind the scenes with our favorite artists. Tank is responsible for hits from artists like Jamie Foxx, Kelly Rowland, Chris Brown and the list goes on and on. He even contributed to the star cast movie “Dream Girls.” With all this success behind the music, I sat with him to ask where he gets his inspiration from and why exactly he is coming back to center stage.
La’Juanda: Why go back to being in the forefront? You wrote for so many people behind the scenes and you have been so successful in doing so. Why even mess with the formula? It seems like it is second nature for you.
Tank: I think that for me the stage part of it is the first love. I think that I like singing my music more than I like everybody else singing it. I also think that I deliver things differently than most of these other artists. What I do is missing!
La’Juanda: That leads me to my second question. You say that you deliver things differently, what makes you so different?
Tank: I think that I attack the heart and the mind of the person as opposed to just trying to make them dance or say a cool clichÃ©’. You know just something temporary. I’m more of an artist that tries to get in your business a little bit. Help you with your relationship or tell you what your man might be thinking. I think that is why the record is having the success its having because people can relate to it on an intimate level. It’s personal to them. They have been through this.
La’Juanda: Where does the inspiration come from? I know it can’t all simply be from your own experiences?
Tank: Some of it is things I have heard about; things that I have seen, things that I hope I will never go through. It’s a combination of all those things. I don’t have one space where I write from. I write from everywhere.
La’Juanda: Okay, you also contributed to the score of Dream Girls. What role did you play in that?
Tank: I played drums on some of it, played keyboards on some it, sang background; I was in the little choir part in the movie. I was all over.
La’Juanda: A lot of people may not know that you can play an instrument. Some people may not be aware that you are a real musician.
Tank: Oh well, they’ll know when I stop by there city.
La’Juanda: Okay so you are going to come out on stage and have the piano and drums set up for you.
Tank: I will have my piano out there. I don’t know if I’m going to have the drums. I may have to take my man’s set and get down. I definitely will have the piano and get down like that.
La’Juanda: Did you expect this kind of reaction from the new single. Every woman I know loves that song and I am not kidding you. They are so drawn by it!
Tank: Nah, I wasn’t’ expecting it to kill people like this. It’s what people go through every day. It’s life in music. I look forward to having this kind of success. It’s for people who really want real music. Music that really talks about something.
La’Juanda: People were missing you.
Tank: Yeah, I think that they were missing it. I think that if any body would come to something remotely close to it, would be back when Musiq [Soulchild] and I were out at the same time and he had his last record. They wanted to hear that. These songs were at the top of the charts. People want that and thank God I’m the person to give it to them.
La’Juanda: What do you think has changed with this album as opposed to the one you have had before?
Tank: I think I’m comfortable in my own skin. I’m not guessing about what it is that I do or what they want to hear from me. I’m very sure about the direction I’m going in. All these songs lock into the title. Sex, Love and Pain. I’m growing up and I am able to do a very complete album.
La’Juanda: Are there any artists that you enjoy writing for the most? Anyone that you really feel a kinetic bond with? How does it work? Do they just simply pick a song? or Is it not even that deep?
Tank: Kelly Rowland, Jamie Fox. You gotta remember that everybody had my album before I actually started writing and producing for them. So it’s like when they come in the studio to work with me its like ah man I remember that song. So it’s like we are already familiar with each other. The building process is there. We are comfortable. Work is easy. They know they are coming in to work with someone who has seen it from both sides. I’m not just a producer who is trying to tell an artist how to do their song. I’m artist and a producer. I have seen it from all frames. They can accept better from me and I can accept better from them.
La’Juanda: What’s your formula? How does the magic happen? Do you just sit and create whenever you feel the urge? Is it a special place you have to go or does it just come to you?
Tank: It just comes to me. I don’t meditate or light seven candles. Especially when they say an artist name then instantly I have an image. I have an idea of what I think I want to give them. A chord of a piano will hit me. It just happens.
La’Juanda: Are there any singles on this album that really stand out to you?
Tank: The “Please Don’t Go” is crazy. “I Hate You” is really gonna turn some heads.
La’Juanda: Let’s talk about the “I Hate You” song.
Tank: “I Hate You” is talking about when a woman has done her dirt. Now she has been exposed. It’s one of those records where a guy is admitting that he laid it out on the line for his lady and she turned around and had no respect for him. Drove him to the point that he would go from love to hate and that’s how bad she did him when he gave her everything. Most guys aren’t going to express that part of it because they are trying to keep that gladiator image but you know we get hurt just like women do. Ya’ll gonna have to take some please don’t go too (laughter).
La’Juanda: (laughter) We got to take some blame too. Did you have any special inspiration behind that song?
Tank: I’ve been through that song. I’ve been through this. I found somewhere inside of me to go to get there.
La’Juanda: Okay, I also read somewhere that you said your new album is about celebrating your woman.
Tank: A piece of it is about the celebration of the woman from the sex, love and hate. Each one of those levels pertain to a part of that. There is good sex and there is bad sex. There is good love and there is bad love. The whole album deals with the woman period. The whole time I’m trying to keep her or get rid of her. I’m trying to tell you what she did bad – what I did bad. All of that but all in relation to dealing with the relationship between a man and a woman. —— By: Interview By La’Juanda Knight