Tanya Morgan is good Hip Hop. I’ve been wanting to work with them for a couple of months now but you know how the grind can sometimes distract you. Thankfully, Shine up at Crack Distributors recently had both TM and my crew, THE NEWPOP up there for a little radio/video interview which was what I needed to remind me to make them a priority. Yes, these guys are a priority for anyone who likes good Hip Hop. 2 albums deep, Von, Don and Elyas have been working hard non-stop. I recently worked this interview with them while they are on tour with Souls of Mischief. Word.
1. Brooklynatti. Fresh name. Is there a deeper meaning behind this name?
Donwill: For me the name is about a state of mind. Most bands build a buzz locally and branch out, being technically we don’t have a hometown so we just made up our own city.
Vonpea: Thats just our way of saying we come together to create something that stands alone from us seperate. im from brooklyn and theyre from cincinnati but together we try to be 3 guys in their own world
The strategy was to just make a current album that reflected us. We have transitioned a lot in the past few years and this ep shows that growth.
2. I noticed you use a baseball sound effect in The Bridge and Moonlighting. Whats the story with that?
Vonpea:Thats something i decided on when i was in high school, inspired by rashad smith using the dice sound in his beats back in the day. thats the effect i put in some of my productions because i used to call where i recorded “the batting cage”
Ilyas:Yeah thats Von’s signature. haha
3. I’m sad to say, I only discovered you guys about 8 months ago (u gave me a CD at Sway), but it seems the name Tanya Morgan is in alot of peoples mouths these days. Do you feel like something pivotal recently happened?
Donwill: I think its got a lot to do with us releasing a new project. I mean we’ve been touring since our first album but a lot of time mags n shit don’t cover you until the album drops.
Vonpea: It’s been about 5 years of us just doing shows, making music, and pushing ourselves out there so id say it definitely didnt happen overnight.
Ilyas: I also feel part of it is how most groups 2nd round projects/album is what people catch on to first. Kinda like Tribe’s 2nd album and The Roots 2nd album. Most people hear your 1st album 2nd and your 2nd album 1st.
4. You guys are from all over the place. How did you meet and then start making music together? Isn’t it hard being so far away from each other? How have you made it work?
Donwill: Our songs are done like emails. Its just like a reply all convo via email where we just contribute to the same demo to make a full song. That’s always been our method of workinf, its just how we are used to working
Vonpea: Donwill and i met because i sent him some demos i did back in 2000 and he sent his back, we knew each other off the net. its not really hard to do we just pick the track and write & record to it seperately and it usually works out.
Ilyas: Its been an easy experience. It also gives us time to meditate on what we want to bring to a song as opposed to being in the studio all at the same time and having to do it even if we’re not feeling it at the moment.
5. Tell me a little about your recording process. We had a brief discussion about Cool Edit and it sparked my interest. Drop the math homies. I must know more.
Donwill: Well you know we just make due with what we got. No big budgets, no major pushes, just good music believers and supporters. After all aint that how this thing started?
Vonpea: We all record different ways but i usually record with cool edit pro. i believe ilyas uses acid pro and don uses cool edit. hopefully people dont read this and start looking beyond the music and looking into the process like “aww man i can hear that this was recorded with cool edit” haha
6. I gotta ask again, whats the deal with your name? Tanya Morgan…
Donwill: its all pretty arbitrary. The name has no deeper meaning at all.
Vonpea: Its just an unconventional name…no different than rock groups or even some rap groups.
7. I recently found out you guys are touring with Souls of Mischief. I think thats gonna be a great look for you. Whats your feeling on this new experience?
Donwill: its gonna be crazy. As a fan alone its sick to be billed with them but you know hiero hustles hard. They are the template to so much shit, im just excited to get to be around it all.
Vonpea: Its gonna be cool as hell, im excited about it…the first show is tonight actually.
8. We officially started working on your music video July 6th. I feel like we clicked when we first met to talk about the concept. Do you guys feel like you want people to perceive you a certain way and if so, how do you want to be perceived?
Donwill:We are artists who are serious about our craft. We put a lot of care into what we do and how its presented. Id just like us to be percieved as serious artists above all. Everything we do comes directly from us and is intentional.
Vonpea: I want people to perceive all artists in a different way, i think the respect for artistry in hip hop is gone because a lot of artists have downplayed what they do so much. like “oh i made this beat in 10 minutes” and “we did this song in 30 minutes” things like that make fans lose respect for what you do, because youre telling them its nothing, so they eventually believe it! i just want not only us, but all artists to gain the respect of fans again by showing them that this IS hard work and we DO take time to make music we believe in and stand by.
Ilyas: Just as I guy that loves wha he does thats all…for now anyway.
9. The Bridge includes some new sounds. Maybe a bit more polished. What were you thinking about when making the new album. Was there a strategy?
Donwill: The strategy was to just make a current album that reflected us. We have transitioned a lot in the past few years and this ep shows that growth. You can hear it in the beats and the concepts.
Vonpea: The main strategy for me was to show growth as a group, but more of a natural growth as opposed to really going out of our way to try new things. that doesnt mean it was effortless, just us trying to maximize what we can already do. the first album was finished in 2004 and released in 2006 so we’ve gone through natural progression. we wanted to officially put out another release with our current level of skill for creating music. the official LP is going to be more of an effort to do things we havent done without straying away from hip hop.
10. Im really feelin the Bridge album cover, who shot it?
Donwill: Rich louissaint @ www.thehomelands.net he shot the moonlighting cover also.
Vonpea: The art was done by an artist named Heinz out of Toronto’s Foundation Group.
11. The Bridge. Why that name?
Donwill: Its the literal bridge between moonlighting and bknati and the figureative bridge to tanya morgans hometown. It takes you to brooklynati.
Vonpea: The bridge is the middle-man between the first LP and the next one, its the pit stop inbetween official albums.
12. Who are you guys listening to right now?
Donwill: donnie hathaway, stevie wonder, che grand, blu, wale, the donuts samples… a lot of stuff.
Vonpea: c.r.a.c. knucks, nas, the old def squad album, n.e.r.d., and j*davey
Ilyas: Perfect Circle, Tool, Ice Cube, Piakahn, Nine Inch Nailz, Outkast
13. When is our photoshoot?!
Donwill: shit you tell me!!!
Vonpea: soon as all 4 of us are in the same city!