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I first caught wind of Tanya Morgan a couple years back with their debut Moonlighting. If they were the slightest bit wack I wouldn’t be talking about them, so lets fast forward to the present day…Fresh off the release of their follow-up EP The Bridge and currently on tour with Souls of Mischief I caught up with Von Pea and Don Will to chop it up and make sure you are aware of the aforementioned facts. So without further ado…
What’s been the response to The Bridge so far on the tour?
Don Will-People have been extremely receptive. Performing with Hiero we get in front of a new set of people, and after every show if they’re not buying a CD they’re asking where can buy one when they get their money right. It’s been very well received.
Is that the number one excuse you hear at a show? “My money ain’t right.”
Don Will-I wouldn’t even say that, because people have been spending money. But we’ve been doing a lot of all ages crowds, and what I’m starting to realize is the all ages crowds, that’s where the support is. These are people who are trying to form their opinion of the world, and you’re helping them form that so they don’t mind throwing down. A lot of times people who are our age, we get jaded so it’s kinda harder to make us budge…but we get support from all ages. But I don’t necessarily see it as an excuse, cause it’s the truth. I’ve been to several shows where I would love to support the artist performing but Wells Fargo might have me on the line for a Car payment, or I got rent. It’s real.
So there is a big difference between the all ages and 21+ crowds?
Von Pea-Yeah, and that just comes with remembering yourself as a youngster, the way you were more enthusiastic about everything, but especially entertainment. As a teenager, these people still matter and you see it at the shows. At the all ages venues they want everybody’s autographs, and buy everyone’s CD. They are excited to see everybody up there. But when you do shows with other 25, 26 year olds they’re just like, “yeah, I noticed your energy came down on this song…and my cousin makes music…and his music is better than yours…but I’m just here because I want to give you my card because I make T-shirts.” (laughs) It sucks the enthusiasm out of you to want to do it when you think they’re aren’t fans around, just other people looking to get a foot in. With the younger crowds, they still love it and are into it.
Don Will-It brought a whole new energy about us. Like seeing people just want to take home a piece of the night. Like they’ll walk up with a napkin after the show like, “sign this please.” They’ll ask you, the tour manager, everybody. It’s like going back when you were a kid, like you don’t have that many opportunities to get out of the house and be alone without your parents. Just to be out and be doing things that you personally decided to do, not like you’re Dad making you play sports or your Mom making you take Piano lessons. You wanted to go to a show, and they aren’t there so you just get to cut loose.
When was the last time you guys had that enthusiastic feeling as a fan, either with an album or live show?
Von Pea-The last time I got a really good feeling from music was when I heard the Blu and Exile album Below The Heavens. I wasn’t expecting it to sound the way it did, and it just hit me like all of my favorite albums hit me at the time, like damn, I’m listening to something I’m gonna play a million times. When you’re really deep into music…It’s like when you think you met the right woman, like aw man she might be the one. When you hear that album, it’s like aw man, this might be one of those albums. Hearing it for the first time, it just hits you.
Don Will-Honestly, I forget what show it was on this tour, as far as live shows. Up to this tour I had never seen Souls Of Mischief perform, so they do “93 Till Infinity.” I’m just chilling out on the back of the stage and they start that song and it hit me like ohh shit. I have such a connection to that song and time period because it made me who I am today. It was just funny how hard it hit me.
Let’s talk about the EP for a second. What was the plan behind putting this out?
Von Pea-Me and Illyas was driving through Brooklyn and we were like we should do something like we did the first time we came out. When we came out with the first album Moonlighting, we came with a mixtape first, then an EP and the the LP. I thought it would be cool if we did that again, same order just on a larger scale. That’s what we did. We had the mixtape earlier this year Tanya Morgan Is A Rap Group, then The Bridge EP which is still brand new, and then we drop the full length Brooklynati next year. So yeah, it was all a plan.
To wrap things up I was gonna try something new and include a downloadable mixtape with each interview, but it took me hella long to track down all the songs and I got frustrated and quit. So instead, here is Ilyas’ (the third member of the group) top 10 favorite songs at the moment.
1) No Matter What – T.I.
2) Dr. Carter – Lil Wayne
3) 3 Libras – Perfect Circle
4) Who’s Gonna Save My Soul – Gnarls Barkley
5) Street On Fire – Lupe Fiasco
6) Blinded By The Lights – The Streets
7) Kanye’s verse on the Lollipop Remix
8) Get’em – Jay Electronica feat Guilty Simpson
9) Hello Brooklyn 2.0 – Jayz feat Von Pea & Lil Wayne
10) Auntie’s Lock/Infinitum -Flying Lotus feat Laura Darlington
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