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Tank and the Bangas tackle race and religion on 'Red Balloon'

Tank and the Bangas released their third studio album Red Balloon in May of 2022.
Tank and the Bangas released their third studio album Red Balloon in May of 2022.

They might have won NPR’s Tiny Desk competition in 2017, but Tarriona “Tank”Ball and her bandmates have electrified audiences for more than a decade.

Tank and the Bangas were nominated for a best new artist at the Grammys in 2020 and released their third studio album, “Red Balloon,” in May.

Despite playing music for audiences for a decade, Ball continues to get emotional after every performance. 

“It’s a power in being so vulnerable in a room full of strangers. It’s the power of letting them know you’re just like them. Number two, it may feel weak to express yourself but that’s actually the strength,” she says.

Before she was a musician, Ball was part of a team competing in slam poetry contests across the country, winning a national title in 2012.  She released her first book of poetry last year called “Vulnerable AF.”

We spoke with her about the band’s musical journey, the role faith plays in her life, and her tribute to Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit” in the band’s new album.

Copyright 2022 WAMU 88.5

Chris Remington