Born and bred in Birmingham, Grime MC Tana first graced the scene by shelling down cyphers and freestyles in his early teens, on some of the UK’s most prevalent music platforms including; JDZ media, P110 and SBTV.
Since then, the 22-year-old has been working tirelessly to establish himself as a household name through his infectious bangers and raw delivery. In addition, to proving himself as a positive role model to the youth in his hometown.
As an artist he is well-known for redefining what it means to be a grime MC, through incorporating different sounds throughout his music to stay relevant. His most recent offering, “Ride & Clutch” flirts with Drill elements and infuses Bashment lingo to formulate an undeniable club banger.
Hey Tana, could you introduce yourself!
My names Tana, I come from South Birmingham and I’m 22 years of age.
What are your thoughts on the stigma surrounding artists from Birmingham and having an accent?
On social media at this current time, there’s obviously a lot of people who have a lot to say about the accent. But within music it’s always helped us stand out. So, I feel like the accent has always come as an advantage – that’s if your good though. *laughs*
As for the stigma, in my opinion it stems from how many problems we have in such a small city. Which has left a lot of artists unable to work together. It’s a real shame because it’s f*cking up our scene.
Talk to us about your Lord of the Mics experience?
Well, my LOTM’s experience wasn’t what I expected. It was definitely something I put on my bucket list growing up. The experience gave me credibility from London’s scene, I will admit. However, I don’t think I needed to do it as much as I thought I did. I was grateful for the opportunity, but in terms of impact – it didn’t do much for me. I’m glad I got to tick it off my bucket list though.
What are your thoughts on Aitch’s comments about the younger generation not being “bothered about grime”?
First and foremost I don’t think Aitch, was saying no one cares about grime. However, what he said was 110% true. I have a younger brother and when you need an ear to the streets you have to go to someone in school. Most of the trends start there and from what I’ve seen no one of that age listens to grime, just drill or the obvious stuff. Everybody has shifted to drill, mainly because of social media’s influence. Grime doesn’t look “cool” anymore and that’s down to the genre itself…they don’t always dress the best! There’s no real image and you need to be paring with what you see online.
That’s interesting, as I feel like a lot of people would identify you with grime. Would you say that’s not your sound anymore?
I’m definitely grime but I’m moving onto different things, exploring different sounds. I blew off rap… My latest release, “Ride & Clutch” has a grime tempo, I always maintain that 140bpm. So, essentially I’m still making grime but I just add my own flavour to it – whether that be a drill or bashment flavour. I’ve evolved my music to make it more digestible to the youth.
Who are your favourite artists both present and past? Also, what’s your favourite project and single right now?
My favourite artist right now is J Hus. Growing up it would have been a typical 50 Cent. As for a current project, I’d say Rodwave’s “Ghetto Gospel” and for a single “Fight For Your Right” by J Hus.
Let’s talk about your single “Ride & Clutch” – how much impact has it had and what has the success done for your career?
It’s had a crazy impact throughout Birmingham. As for outside of the city, people are starting to realise that I can take on different sounds, yet keep it fun and young. “Ride & Clutch” is one of my biggest songs yet and it’s opening a lot of doors for me! It’s even gotten recognition from the likes of Toddla T and Kenny Allstar who are co-signing it and even going as far as to call it it’s own sub-genre as whole.
Word on the street is we’re going to be hearing a “Ride & Clutch” remix soon?
Yes! I’ve been in meetings with some crazy people. I’ve got all remix verses in today but I can’t even say any names… Let’s just say it’s going to be one of the biggest remixes to come out of Brum since JayKae and Ed Sheeran!
You also have a new track coming out soon, called “Stormzy Flow”. What can we expect from that? Tell us the inspiration behind it?
It’s inspired by Stormzy’s “Wiley Flow” – I thought who would I need to pay homage to? Who’s paved the way? And of course that’s Stormzy, it only felt right.
As for the song, there’s a lot of bars, it’s mainly me showcasing my lyricism. It’s my version of grime and it discusses my backstory. I’m going to put it up on my own channel but we haven’t got an official release date yet.
For those who may not have listened to your music, what three songs/freestyles would you recommend to them first?
I’d recommend “Ride & Clutch” because that’s my newest single out right now. I’d say go listen to my Hoods Hottest freestyle on P110 – that’s doing crazy numbers. I would also direct them to a cypher on P110 that I did when I was 15 with all my friends – that one marked the beginning of my musical foundation in Brum!
Finally, who do you think is next to blow from Birmingham?
I have to shout out Marnz he’s great with the melodies, I’d say he’s definitely next up. There’s also a young boy called Zino. Who will hopefully be joining my team soon, he’s also very cold with melodies. The last one would be Tamz, he’s very sick, he just needs right exposure.