GT Music

Ten Minutes with Tanika

We speak to pop starlet Tanika about her hopes and dreams, the role of women in today’s music industry and, like, her favourite drink

Tanika wears big gold hoop earrings, sings broody R-&-pop about being mean to boys and stomps around car parks in seven-inch heels. If everyone did that, the world would be a better place. Most importantly, she’s perfected the upwards-plait-pull dance move. Her new single Bad 4 U is a gleefully mean, infectiously beat-laden stomper – and with over half a million views on YouTube before it’s even been released, it’ll be vibrating club floors from here to Hackney before you can say “Oi Tristan, where’s the warehouse party?” Your mum might even get drunk and dance to it at Christmas after Pictionary.

Hi Tanika
Hey Dylan. I love your jacket!

Thanks. Topman. Twenty quid.


Topman’s the secret.

Yes. Love Topman. Well, Topshop.

I’ve got your song stuck in my head.


BAAD FOOR YOOU! Love the video too. You in a warehouse with a big black truck. What was the concept behind it?

It was me being bad news for something so massive and destructive. Like me being bad for a guy. But a truck is a lot more fierce and more scary. Like, it’s more scary than a car. 

A lot of people just dance with a random hot guy in their videos so it’s good you did something different…

Totally. We didn’t wanna do clichés. 

How would you define your genre of music?

Cool, edgy, soulful pop.

Who would you most like to collaborate with?

If the sky was the limit, I’d be in a session with Drake. Right now!

I knew you’d say that.
Really?! Wow. Yeah Drake. Or FKA Twigs. She’s great too. 

If you could perform anywhere in the world where would it be?

02 Arena! That’s the dream.

What do you think of women in music at the moment, and all that Miley Cyrus bollocks?

I believe in the quote ‘express yourself.’ My early material was really hard and edgy, and I wasn’t feeling that feminine because of the sound of the music, because of the lyrics I was saying. So that came out in my movement. I was quite aggressive and intimidating. I like to dance, I like to move, and I come from a culture that celebrates that. It’s like when you go to Notting Hill Carnival - you just want to jump in, wind up your waist and go with it. Just express yourself, be who you want. I think Miley is amazing, she’s doing her thing. Not a lot of people agree with her being naked on a ball, but it’s how she felt. No-one knows how she felt about the song when she wrote it and what it meant to her. Yeah. Express yourself. Do whatever you feel.

Can’t argue with that. On a lighter note, what’s your favourite drink?

Vodka and cranberry. No, double vodka and cranberry.

Who’s the hottest celebrity?

Um…Bastille. All of them.

Finally, what’s in store for the future?

A lot. An incredible album waiting for you guys. Always writing, always in the studio perfecting my craft. Just more dancing and entertaining! I just try to be an all-round entertainer, writer and singer, and just keep giving more and living life, and being able to share it.

Awesome, thanks Tanika.
I love how you pronounce my name! "Tanika". That’s how my mum says it. My friends are all just like “TANEEEEKA!” Give me a hug! Love to GT!

Check out the video to BAD 4U

BAD 4 U is set for release on 24th November. Tanika is supporting Naughty Boy at Brixton Electric in London, this Wednesday 13 November.

Words: Dylan B Jones (@dylanbjones)

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