INTERVIEW: Tank Opens Up About New 'SAVAGE' Album

By Isha Thorpe

September 29, 2017

Tank has been a well-respected R&B singer/songwriter in the game for a minute. Since releasing his first studio album, Force Of Nature, in 2001; Rhythm and Blues lovers have never been able to get enough of him.

With his vocals that make you want to put all of his songs on repeat, and that adorable face and sweet smile, Tank is a fan favorite. We don’t know a R&B fanatic who doesn’t love listening to his music nonstop. So, when we heard that the crooner was releasing a brand new album this year, we immediately got excited. Entitled Savage, the new project features 11 songs. The recording artists who’ll be making guest appearances on the project are Ludacris, Trey Songz, J. Valentine and Candice Boyd.

Tank also wrapped up his “Savage” tour that was in support of his new album. Taking place in 14 U.S. cities, the venture kicked off on Sept. 1 in Miramar, Florida and ended on Sept. 27 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Fellow R&B singer/songwriter Sammie served as this tour’s opening act.

iHeartRadio chopped it up with Tank in honor of Savage’s release. From speaking about the album, his definition of a savage, the current state of R&B and more; Tank opened up about it all.

Check out iHeartRadio’s interview with Tank below. Buy Savage here

Why did you name your new album Savage?

I named this album Savage because I felt like the way the music was going; it was just becoming aggressive, savagely aggressive. What we discovered on Sex, Love and Pain II is that people really responded to those moments. To those ‘She With The S***’ moments featuring Rich Homie Quan, the ‘I Love You’ moment with Yo Gotti, the ‘Birthday’ moment with Chris Brown and Sage. We really wanted to capitalize on that feeling.

So, it was like we should just take that energy and bottle it all up into one project, and make this our stand, make this our fight to push R&B into some different spaces.  We decided to take the savage approach like let's just do it how we want to do it. Let's feel the way we want to feel and be unapologetic about it, and ultimately be savages.

What’s the mood of the project?

The mood of the album is sexy, but it's a different kind of sexy. Like it's the soundtrack to the moment where sex gets a little bit aggressive. There's some sweating happening, there's some heavy breathing… And we just kinda wanted everything on the album to just have that mood and that vibe.

What’s your definition of a savage?

My definition of a savage is someone who's just not willing to lose. Somebody who's willing to do absolutely whatever it takes to ensure survival on any and every level. A lot of times, they give the savage title to people who are being absolutely ridiculous. But, I think the savage title belongs to the people who... Let's talk about that father who puts in an extra 20-30 hours a week to make sure the family is fed, or that single mom trying to raise two or three kids on her own with two or three jobs and holding it all together. That’s savage behavior that we don't speak about. You have to go to great lengths. You have to be a gladiator, a warrior in order to sometimes just survive.

In what ways are you a savage?

Love. We live in a very loveless time where people aren't slowing down long enough to even fall in love. If we're gonna fight for that, then we have to fight for that the same way they fight to hate. We have to be savages about it.

I’m a savage in many ways.  It's ultimately my approach to everything that I do... I'm a savage about my family, I'm a savage about my music, I'm a savage about my circle; my friends, my team. That's all the way across the board. If they need me, they got me 100% and that's savage type behavior. You can't be a savage unless you're all in, unless you willing to risk it all.

What made you want to have Trey Songz, Ludacris, J. Valentine and Candice Boyd on your album?

People were carefully picked for these songs. Trey Songz, Ludacris on the ‘Everything’ record, it just made sense. Even when I was writing the record and singing I was like, ‘Man, this sounds like a Trey moment.’ Then Luda, he's just a timeless MC. He's just so gifted in what he does.  He'll just never be out of style. A verse from Luda will always be welcomed probably in centuries to come. So, that was an easy call. 

J. Valentine, we've been trying to get him out of retirement for quite some time. We pressed him and made him get us a verse on there (laughs). Candice Boyd, I just think she's the new female voice of R&B. We had to have her and she's absolutely amazing.

For new music, do you ever feel like you have to tweak your sound sometimes to sound like the newer R&B flow that has rap influence?

For new music, I think it's important that you understand where music is. I also understand that growth and evolution is natural. When people say new R&B and all of these things, well you know, I've kinda always been at the forefront of establishing what new R&B is. I've just always maintained a very emotional and sensual side to my R&B that I could never do away with. That's just me.

 You find yourself tweaking things, and making adjustments, and making sure that you're able to cater to today's listener without losing yesterday's fan. You have to be smart about that. But then, when you're creating, I'm naturally in these new spaces with these guys. So, it's not anything that I have to force. I think with the album, I just allowed evolution just to take place and we didn't trip about what people would think about it. We're allowed to grow.

What do you love most about Rhythm and Blues?

What I love most about Rhythm and Blues is the storytelling process. Going line by line, describing the moments, describing the feelings, describing the actions, the causes and the effects of all of these decisions that we make, and being able to put them into song. I just think there's nothing more therapeutic.

And it's not just for me, the writer, the singer, or the producer, or the performer; it's a therapeutic process that goes both ways for the people who hear the music, internalize it, and apply it to their everyday lives and situations that they're going through. We're able to speak without even being on the phone or even being in the same room. We're allowed to connect on a Rhythm and Blues level that's just out of this world.

Where do you see R&B in the next 5 – 10 years?

I think we're gonna be in a very, very cool place. Even way cooler than where we are now because for a minute, the consumer and the listener, everything that they were listening to, everything that was being given to them, was being controlled in a sense. They had to accept whatever they were given from a system standpoint. But now, with so many avenues to find music, to discover music, to create your own playlist, to create your own vibe, create your own mood, R&B is in a place where it's being rediscovered again... R&B is finding it's way back in a different space. So, I think R&B music is gonna be at a beautiful place.

Photos: Eric Williams

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