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“They say “If the music comes out of nowhere, it’s always been in you”, says Tank Evans, also known as Tankoo the G. “The music was always in me,” he says.

Tank is an 18-year-old student at Columbia College in Chicago. He has been expressing his music through singing and rapping for the past 3 years but has been performing for much longer. He began as a dancer at the age of 5, performing solo and as part of a dance team. Even with the evolution of his performance to include vocals and lyrics, dance is still a component, influenced by artists like Chris Brown and Michael Jackson.

“I’ve been dancing as long as I can remember. It all started with my Mom. We would dance and sing in the kitchen, a lot of times to gospel and church music,” Tank recalls. “Even in the kitchen while she was cooking, we danced. She got me into music, and she is the reason I write and perform now.”

Sadly, Tank’s mother passed away in 2017 when he was 11 years old. He cites her as his primary inspiration and says that his music is his way of honoring her and sharing her memory through his songs. Her influence and impact are the themes of his song “This That Lifestyle,” a song with a melancholy sound that is used to accentuate the importance of the message. Tank encourages those in a down place to push through adversity, to keep living to honor those who aren’t with us anymore.

This that lifestyle, you gotta keep going
This that lifestyle, you gotta keep flowing
Losing my mother I was going insane
I was stuck in my games
I was stuck in my ways
They ain’t understand all this pain in my life
They ain’t never understand what i’ve been through

Tank can still feel heavy emotions when he thinks about his mom, sometimes while performing. Still, he shares that most of his songs are happy and joyous, full of energy, even the songs about his loss.

“I want my music to make people dance, to make them feel joy. I want my mother to be proud of my performance and what I’m putting out into the world. Music was always joy to us, and that’s what I want to celebrate.”

Tank brought his performance to OpenMike for the first time this past October, singing his song “Only One Me,” a song about proving doubters wrong and pushing past any obstacles that get in the way of your dreams.

Before she passed, his mom enforced the message for Tank to never give up the pursuit of his dreams, no matter how big. And Tank does, in fact, have some lofty ones.

“I want to be the next big superstar. Performance is ingrained in me. I want to be bigger than Michael Jackson and trust me, you will see me in movies one day.”

Tank smiles, acknowledging the path to those dreams is a long road ahead, but with a sparkle in his eye that says he believes that he will get there.

His mother would be proud.

Tankoo the G’s next OpenMike performance is December 9th at the WNDR Museum and after than you can catch Tankoo the G on December 12th from 6-9pm at Toke Libre (1626 S Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60608)

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