Tank and the Bangas

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

Tank and the Bangas is an American musical group based in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States. They won the 2017 NPR Tiny Desk Contest.


Origin of group[edit]

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 fronted by Tarriona "Tank" Ball on lead vocals;[2] Ball first gained attention as a slam poet.[3] Other members include Joshua Johnson on drums and as musical director, Norman Spence on bass and synth keys, Jonathan Johnson on bass, Merell Burkett on keyboard, Anjelika "Jelly" Joseph and Kayla Buggage on background vocals, Albert Allenback on alto saxophone and flute,[4] and Etienne Stoufflet on tenor saxpahone.[5]Previous band members include Joe Johnson on keyboard who now plays with New Orleans jazz-fusion band Slugger.[6]

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

Previous members included guitarist Keenan McRae and percussionist Nita Bailey.[7]


Writing in The Washingtonian, Heather Rudow described the group's work as "lively fusion of funk, soul, hip hop, rock, and spoken word."[8] 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."[9]


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. "[10]


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."[11] 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."[11] 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.[12]


Studio Albums:

  • Thinktank (2013)
  • Green Balloon (2019)

Live Albums:

  • The Big Bang Theory: Live at Gasa Gasa (2014)
  • Live Vibes (2018)
  • Live Vibes 2 (2019)


  • "Rhythm of Life" (2013)
  • "Quick" (2017)
  • "Smoke.Netflix.Chill" (2018)
  • "Spaceships" (2018)
  • "Ants" (2019)
  • "Nice Things" (2019)[13]

Their song "Oh Heart" was featured in the end credits of the season four BoJack Horseman episode "Ruthie".


  • 2014 RAWards Best New Orleans Artist of the Year[14]
  • 2014 Offbeat Magazine Emerging Artist Award[15][16]
  • 2016 Afropunk Festival contest winners[17]
  • 2017 NPR Tiny Desk Contest winner[11]


  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. ^ ""Band Bio"". www.tankandthebangas.com. Retrieved 17 March 2017.
  6. ^ CUGNY, NOÉ. "OnBeat Sessions, Episode 3: Slugger". Offbeat.com. Offbeat Magazine. Retrieved 9 October 2019.
  7. ^ Ramsey, Jan (December 19, 2013). "Tank and the Bangas Release Debut Album with Show at Tipitina's". OffBeat Magazine. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ Stein, Joshua David (April 22, 2016). "The true blues of New Orleans". Financial Times. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  10. ^ Punjabi, Rajul (8 June 2016). "Tank and the Bangas Bring New Orleans Soul to New York City". Village Voice. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  11. ^ a b c Boilen, Bob (February 28, 2017). "Introducing The Winner Of The 2017 Tiny Desk Contest". Morning Edition. NPR. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  12. ^ "The Evolution Of Tank And The Bangas' Unique Voice". NPR.org. Retrieved 2019-08-21.
  13. ^ TankAndTheBangasVEVO (28 March 2019). "Tank And The Bangas - Nice Things (Audio)". YouTube. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  14. ^ Ramsey, Jan (November 14, 2013). "New Orleans' Next Art Stars Compete At RAW Artists RAWards November 14". OffBeat Magazine. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  15. ^ Crawford, Kelley (April 14, 2016). "Blues Fest Spotlight: Tank and the Bangas". The Advocate. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  16. ^ OffBeat Staff (January 28, 2015). "2014 Best of the Beat Award Winners". OffBeat Magazine. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  17. ^ Fields, Rob (July 10, 2016). "PHOTOS: Afropunk's Battle of the Bands Finals 2016". Bold as Love Magazine. Retrieved March 17, 2017.

External links[edit]