Tank and the Bangas

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Tank and the Bangas
Tank and the Bangas performing at the Hartwood Acres Amphitheater in 2017
Tank and the Bangas performing at the Hartwood Acres Amphitheater in 2017
Background information
OriginNew Orleans, Louisiana
Years active2011–present
Associated acts
MembersTarriona "Tank" Ball
Joshua Johnson
Norman Spence
Jonathan Johnson
Merell Burkett
Anjelika "Jelly" Joseph
Albert Allenback
Etienne Stoufflet

Tank and the Bangas is an American musical group based in New Orleans, Louisiana. The band won the 2017 NPR Tiny Desk Contest and in November 2019, they were nominated in the Best New Artist category for the 2020 Grammy Awards.


Members of Tank and the Bangas met at a New Orleans open mic show called Liberation Lounge at now closed Blackstar Cafe and Books in the Algiers section of New Orleans and formed the group in 2011.[1]


The group was founded and is fronted by Tarriona "Tank" Ball on lead vocals;[2] Ball first gained attention as a slam poet.[3] The group is anchored by Joshua Johnson on drums and as musical director, Norman Spence on bass and synth keys, Merell Burkett, Jr. on keyboard, and Albert Allenback on alto saxophone and flute.[4][5] Other active contributors include Jonathan Johnson on bass, Anjelika "Jelly" Joseph on background vocals, Etienne Stoufflet on tenor saxophone, and Danny Abel on guitar.[6][7]

Previous band members include Joe Johnson on keyboard, who now plays with New Orleans jazz-fusion band Slugger, and background vocalist Kayla Buggage.[8][6] Additionally, guitarist Keenan McRae and percussionist Nita Bailey were original members of the group and perform on its debut album.[9]

Tank and the Bangas live performance at New Orleans radio station WWOZ in 2013


Writing in The Washingtonian, Heather Rudow described the group's work as "lively fusion of funk, soul, hip hop, rock, and spoken word."[10] Speaking to the Times-Picayune, the musicians in the group mentioned a variety of genres they identify with, including rock, folk, gospel and Anjelika "Jelly" Joseph's invention "Soulful Disney". In addition to Disney, the group has also mentioned anime as influence on the group's "childlike" and "magical" sensibility, in Ball's words.[1] In the Financial Times, Joshua David Stein said, "Tank and the Bangas don’t conform to the jazz stereotypes trotted out in the lobbies of convention hotels or milked on Frenchman Street. It’s New Orleans but it’s New Orleans now."[11]


In The Village Voice, Rajul Punjabi described the group's debut album ThinkTank as "sincere and eclectic. Ball’s vocals are strong and versatile—evidence of her childhood in church—and she coasts through sweet melodies and wide-ranging vocal undulations reminiscent of Nicki Minaj’s character voices. She throws gentle shade when reminded of this — 'I’ve been doing that before she came out,' she says."[12]


Naming Tank and the Bangas the 2017 winner of NPR's Tiny Desk Contest for their song "Quick", NPR co-host of All Songs Considered Bob Boilen, "What won me over about the band's performance of 'Quick' were the interactions among lead singer Tarriona 'Tank' Ball and her bandmates, and the way they seemed to surprise one another. It all felt so organic and on-the-spot."[13] Juror Trey Anastasio of Phish said, "I immediately loved this...Tank is a force of nature, just full of joy—and her band is killing in the background."[13] The story of the evolution of Tank's voice was covered in an episode of NPR's World Cafe show for essential and emerging artists.[14]


Studio albums[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions


Think Tank
  • Released: December 19, 2013
  • Label: Self-released
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download, streaming
Green Balloon 73 3

Live albums[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions

The Big Bang Theory: Live at Gasa Gasa
  • Released: December 5, 2014
  • Label: Self-released
  • Format: CD, digital download, streaming
Live Vibes
  • Released: April 21, 2016
  • Label: Verve Label Group, UMG
  • Format: LP, digital download, streaming
Live Vibes 2
  • Released: February 15, 2019
  • Label: Verve Forecast, UMG
  • Format: LP, digital download, streaming

Extended plays[edit]

Title Details
Jam in the Van - Tank and the Bangas
  • Released: August 1, 2017[16]
  • Label: Jam in the Van
  • Format: Digital download, streaming
Friend Goals
  • Released: November 20, 2020
  • Label: Verve Forecast, UMG
  • Format: Vinyl, digital download, streaming


As lead artist[edit]

Title Year Album
"Rhythm of Life" 2013 Think Tank
"Quick"[A] 2017 Non-album single
"Smoke.Netflix.Chill" 2018 Green Balloon
"Ants" 2019
"Nice Things"[17]
"For André" 2020 Non-album single
"What the World Needs Now"
(featuring David Shaw, PJ Morton, Alexis Marceaux,
Maggie Koerner, Sasha Masakowski, Berkley the Artist,
Rahim Glaspy & Tracci Lee)
"Self Care"[18]
(featuring Jaime Woods and Orleans Big)
Friend Goals
"To Be Real"[19]
(featuring Hasizzle, Keedy Black, and Big Choo)

As featured artist[edit]

Title Year Album
"In My Bones"
(Jacob Collier featuring Kimbra and Tank and the Bangas)
2020 Djesse Vol. 3


  1. ^ A live version of "Quick" was included on the Live Vibes EP


  • 2014 RAWards Best New Orleans Artist of the Year[20]
  • 2014 Offbeat Magazine Emerging Artist Award[21][22]
  • 2016 Afropunk Festival contest winners[23]
  • 2017 NPR Tiny Desk Contest winner[13]
  • 2020 Grammy Awards Best New Artist nominee[24]


  1. ^ a b Peppers, Gia (27 April 2015). "5 Things To Know About Tank and The Bangas Before They Hit the ESSENCE Fest Stage". Essence.com. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  2. ^ Hobdy, Dominique (7 February 2017). "How Hurricane Katrina Surprisingly Impacted This New Orleans Musician's Style". Essence. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  3. ^ Wyckoff, Geraldine (May 31, 2016). "This 'Tank' never runs on empty!". Louisiana Weekly. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  4. ^ MacCash, Doug (November 17, 2016). "Tank and the Bangas: Listen up to this New Orleans band on the rise". Times-Picayune. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  5. ^ "Emerging Artists Spotlight: Tank and the Bangas". Billboard. Retrieved 2020-01-27.
  6. ^ a b ""Band Bio"". www.tankandthebangas.com. Retrieved 17 March 2017.
  7. ^ Freeman, Jon (2018-08-17). "The Joyful New Orleans Noise of Tank and the Bangas". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2020-01-27.
  8. ^ CUGNY, NOÉ. "OnBeat Sessions, Episode 3: Slugger". Offbeat.com. Offbeat Magazine. Retrieved 9 October 2019.
  9. ^ Ramsey, Jan (December 19, 2013). "Tank and the Bangas Release Debut Album with Show at Tipitina's". OffBeat Magazine. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  10. ^ Rudow, Heather (11 January 2016). "Things to Do in DC This Week January 11–13: Do Yoga and Dance to EDM at 6AM". Washingtonian. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  11. ^ Stein, Joshua David (April 22, 2016). "The true blues of New Orleans". Financial Times. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  12. ^ Punjabi, Rajul (8 June 2016). "Tank and the Bangas Bring New Orleans Soul to New York City". Village Voice. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  13. ^ a b c Boilen, Bob (February 28, 2017). "Introducing The Winner Of The 2017 Tiny Desk Contest". Morning Edition. NPR. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  14. ^ "The Evolution Of Tank And The Bangas' Unique Voice". NPR.org. Retrieved 2019-08-21.
  15. ^ a b c "Chart search - Tank and the Bangas". Billboard. Retrieved February 20, 2021.
  16. ^ "Jam in the Van - Tank and the Bangas - EP by Jam in the Van & Tank and the Bangas". Apple Music. Retrieved February 20, 2020.
  17. ^ TankAndTheBangasVEVO (28 March 2019). "Tank And The Bangas - Nice Things (Audio)". YouTube. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  18. ^ "Self Care - Tank and the Bangas". Spotify. Retrieved February 22, 2021.
  19. ^ "To Be Real - Tank and the Bangas". Spotify. Retrieved February 22, 2021.
  20. ^ Ramsey, Jan (November 14, 2013). "New Orleans' Next Art Stars Compete At RAW Artists RAWards November 14". OffBeat Magazine. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  21. ^ Crawford, Kelley (April 14, 2016). "Blues Fest Spotlight: Tank and the Bangas". The Advocate. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  22. ^ OffBeat Staff (January 28, 2015). "2014 Best of the Beat Award Winners". OffBeat Magazine. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  23. ^ Fields, Rob (July 10, 2016). "PHOTOS: Afropunk's Battle of the Bands Finals 2016". Bold as Love Magazine. Retrieved March 17, 2017.
  24. ^ "2020 GRAMMY Awards: Complete Winners List". GRAMMY.com. 2019-11-20. Retrieved 2020-05-05.

External links[edit]