June 21, 2018

Artist Feature: Tang Sauce

Hartford, Connecticut’s Tang Sauce is a fresh artist rising from the Connecticut underground.  John Manselle-Young, who performs under the alias, Tang Sauce, has just released a 17-track album, Maturity, which has been gaining a lot of positive notoriety.  Recently Tang gave an energetic performance at the Trinity International Hip Hop Festival 2016 that left us vibrating with good energy.  We reached out to Tang Sauce with a few questions about his sound, inspiration and connection to jazz culture.

Tang Sauce Trinity Hip Hop Festival 2016 Enjoy CT Live

  1. How would you describe your sound?
    I would describe my sound as a laid back, golden era (of Hip-Hop) inspired, old school flow with a new school perspective.
  2. What effect has jazz had on your music and life?
    That’s a good question! Well first of all, jazz and Hip-Hop for me are the same music, just presented in different platforms and era’s (Just like jazz, Hip-Hop has an improvised element, called an “off the top” freestyle). As far as my music though, during the golden era of Hip-Hop (Late 80’s early 90’s), Hip-Hop producers were sampling jazz records quite often, and that’s where I get a lot of inspiration for my sound so a direct effect would be the style that I have in mind when choosing beats. I’m definitely looking for “Jazzy” sounds most of the time. I trained in jazz a few years with the Youth Jazz Orchestra at the Artists Collective, and the skills I learned there on my cornet absolutely stayed with me and “transposed” into rap when the time came. In my life, jazz has taught me how me how art can break barriers, and push social change. I know that at times where racial tensions were high, the bandstand was a place where people could be equal regardless of their color! That was really new and uncomfortable for some people at the time, but I believe a great way to introduce positive social change is through the ear!  Tang Sauce John Maiselle Young Enjoy CT Live
  3. Which three public figures, musicians, politicians, etc. have inspired your art?
    This is a good question as well! Number one would be, Will Smith. I always loved his swag and fun- loving vibe, but when I researched him, I realized how deep and intelligent he is as a person. From there I really respected him and wanted to use him as a role model for my own journey! Number two would be, Daniel “Cloud” Campos. First of all he’s one of the most original dancers I’ve ever seen, but also, he’s one of the most creative people I’ve ever heard of! He’s multi talented plus humble and hilarious! He showed me how much of a good effect it can be to be great person outside of your art. Number three would be would be Oprah, I read her biography and saw all of the obstacles she had to overcome to get to where she is and that story really made me realize that if you create opportunities for yourself, and take advantage of the good opportunities that you do have, you can be successful, regardless of where you begin!
  4. If you could collaborate with any artists, who would you ask to work with and why?
    If I could collaborate with any artist, I would have to collaborate with either Herbie Hancock or Kendrick Lamar. They’re both really spectacular, super creative, and ahead of their time as I see it, and I would love to absorb some of what they have going on in their minds! The continuity in Kendrick Lamar’s “To Pimp A Butterfly” with his ongoing poem was really mind blowing and Herbie Hancock’s “Rockit” was so different from anything I heard coming from any other Jazz artist at that time! To be a part of a project that they are a part of would be a humongous honor.
  5. Where do you see your sound five years from now?
    Five years from now, I see myself having a really cutting edge sound, but at the same time maintaining my signature style. I’d like to dig deeper into myself to find a sound where I’m mixing together all of my different influences to make a cohesive sound. I’ve got some brass band in me, some Souza in me, some African drum in me, and even some break beats in me that have yet to have had the chance to be heard, and I can definitely see myself working with all of that plus more in five years!
  6. What have you been listening to?
    Lately, I’ve been listening to a mixture of things, it’s been golden era Hip-Hop like Monie Love & The Native Tongues, current Hip-Hop/R&B like Drake, Bryson Tiller, Kendrick Lamar, but then it’s also been jazz from late 1950’s like “Four” by Miles Davis and some things the Jazz Messengers were doing around that time as well. Being around town often, I listen to a bunch of local music from multiple genres like Funk, Jazz, Hip-Hop, and Soul, which are all really nice scenes to be a part of. Orice Jenkins’s new album SOAR is in heavy rotation for me right now, but I am also still listening to my album “Maturity” pretty often, I feel like it’s an album that grows on you more with time.
  7. Where can people interested in your music find it?
    You can find my latest single “One Time For Your Mind” on YouTube here: https://goo.gl/PjfjPj, you can listen to my album here: bangdollatang.bandcamp.com, and now you can make your own “Tang Sauce” radio station on Pandora!Tang Sauce Maturity Connecticut Enjoy CT Live
  8. How would you summarize your overall aesthetic as an artist?
    My aesthetic as an artist is peace, love, and positivity! Also, I aim to bring Hip-Hop into a place where it is more respected & appreciated. The amount of talent it takes to make and understand Hip-Hop is huge, and I want people to know that there is much more than you can get at face level with this craft, there are layers! With rap alone, we have many layers to observe, and/or create such as flow, rhyme scheme, delivery, wordplay, alliterations, assonance, consonance, and even medley sometimes! That’s just one element of Hip-Hop right there (for those looking to learn, the four basic elements of Hip-Hop are Breakin’ [Dance], Rap, Graffiti, and DJ’ing). All the element’s are layered just like this and it must be known that Hip-Hop is art just as much as any other art form.
  9. Do you feel Connecticut’s music scene has had an effect on you? How?
    Connecticut’s music scene has absolutely had a huge effect on me! This scene has been really good to me in supporting me honestly being myself. I consider Sully’s Pub, Black Eyed Sally’s, and The Russell to be training grounds for me to experiment, grow, and network! I’ve learned so much at all of these places (I have to include the Tapas Wednesday open mic that we used to hold as well), and the common thing between all these venues is that you can try new things here, and you will have a cushion of love and support to fall back on no matter what happens. It shows you that if you have the courage to put yourself on stage and express yourself the best that you can, people will recognize, appreciate, and respect that. You might even have some fun in the meantime, and meet some really great people! Also, I feel like CT’s music scene is like a family, so were all connected, and if you are good to the community around you, you can end up right where you want to be!
  10. This is not a question. Thank you for inspiring people every day with your performances and words.  Thank you for seeing that and for reaching out to me! All the best, much love!

Listen to Tang Sauce on Reverbnation here.

Like Tang Sauce on Facebook here.