One To Watch: Tanika

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One previous misconception with One To Watch is that the piece will only feature artists who are yet to release music mainsteam or be signed to a major label. However, what One To Watch aims to do is to focus on artists who we believe have the potential and ability to become a much bigger star and we would like to create a platform for that artist to shine. With so many talented singers, rappers and bands in the modern day music scene, it can be hard to differentiate who has the “star power” to shine. If the ability to succeed was based on musical talent, resilience to adversity, willingness to achieve and looking good while doing it, then Tanika would be One To Watch every single time.

UK singer/songwriter Tanika has been creating quite a buzz on the scene since 2012 opening up for rapper Joe Budden and working with artists like MNEK and Zebra Katz, creating a reputation as a quality live performer, and crafting her own catchy and diverse songs with eclectic vibes. Her ability to craft songs and understand music did not go unnoticed as she featured on Naughty Boy‘s track ‘Get Lucky‘ off of his Hotel Cubana album and supported him on tour in 2013. On her EP Thoughts of Love, she had tracks with UK rappers DVS [‘Casualty’] and Sneakbo [‘Hookers Heels‘] and it seemed like she had the formula down for a hit track, racking up 85,000 views on the two aftermentioned videos alone and having the EP downloaded by 5,000 times.

However, not afraid to take risks, Tanika decided to go solo with her debut single and released ‘Bad 4 U’, [produced by MNEK] in 2014 to great reviews from fans and critics alike. The track, with touches of R&B, pop and dubstep, has a hook alone makes one want to get up and dance, saw Tanika praised for her uniqueness and versatility on the microphone. Tanika also released a mesmerising video by transforming simplicity into a moment of rampant craze—dancing in front of an over-sized lorry, creating a new meaning of bewilderment.

“A lot of people perceive it as having a lot of attitude because of the curse word in the chorus, but it’s really an honest song.”

‘Bad 4 U’ was featured on Tanika’s 2014 EP Fucking With My Heart, which also included tracks ‘Runaway’, ‘Party Till We Fight‘ and a remix of ‘Bad 4 U’ featuring Krept & Konan. This shift in musical focus for Tanika see her celebrated of her honesty within her music and her raw energy and vocal power. The EP was pushed as a “mini-album” and had fans waiting for an album to drop. However 2014 also brought a heap of legal and label troubles and all plans were put on hold for the Brixton artist.

Undeterred, Tanika came back with a bang in early 2015, with a new out look on the music scene and doing things independently, and her way. Her first offering saw her team up with South London’s Stormzy, who has also had a great 2015, for the track ‘Out Ere’. The track, which saw both flow over a hypnotic, vocal-driven production, detailed Tanika‘s frustration with the industry and it was clear that the song came from the heart. Lines like “back when shit was all fun, then I signed a deal. But then we lost our house and the shit got real” showed the real struggles she’d undergone for the sake of her hustle. The edgy trap-tinged production complimented both artists and even allowed Tanika to showcase her rapping ability and showing she is just as good, if not better then her male counterparts.

‘Out Ere‘ was simply a statement of intention and a warning to all those who would listen as Tanika dropped another hit in the form of ‘Fuckboy‘. ‘Fuckboy’ was put out as a free download and was stated as the first of three releases in the lead up to her upcoming EP I Am Tanika, due out later this year.

“I wanted ‘Fuckboy’ to be the first thing that comes out so there are no surprises on the I AM TANIKA EP. I feel like an outlaw and I don’t have any rules but gods commandments. I’m not writing with any limits. And there’s no fairytales over here.”

The tracks was accompanied by a Jeaniq Amihyia and Joshua Mornix-directed video shot in the heart of her hometown of Brixton, again detailing her personality and character. The track is pretty self-explanatory, talking of a past lover she’s no longer dealing with. ‘Fuckboy‘ is something new and somewhat refreshing in a congested musical landscape. Tanika falls within the boundaries of hip hop, rap, soul and pop and has the ability to show off her talents vocally while drop a fire rap verse. With artists like MIA and Doja Cat headlining this genre of it’s own, Tanika does it all, but with her own twist and its flying the flag of the UK, loud and proud.



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