Cleveland, Ohio — Just from his stage name alone, Cleveland native Tanis Clevert Quach has made sure he is quite unequivocally THE actual TANIS. His verses are injected with the filtered frustrations, and his inspirations and rhythms are sampled from the unlikeliest of sources spanning all forms of media.
Recently, his most popular music video for his song “Hot Boyz” stands at the verge of hitting 9000 views. With plenty of highs and lows throughout his life— Quach is humbled by his fame and always looking forward.
“I consider myself to have sort of a tunnel vision, I don’t always have the time to appreciate success. But it’s just been amazing,” Quach said.
“Hot Boyz” Music Video
As a child, Quach and his mother moved around the Cleveland area with just enough to get by. Adjusting to a more routine life was difficult, and switching schools and neighborhoods became a common practice. However, Quach always saw a few similarities wherever he stayed, be it racism, sexism, discrimination or disenfranchised people.
“My childhood was sporadic. I moved around a lot with my mom,” Quach expounded. “I saw a lot of racism and class warfare and injustice all around me. [It] influenced my voice.”
Tanis Quach Interview
Discovering rap as an avenue of expression, Quach spent his middle school and early high school years finding every opportunity to write.
“I used to cut class at [Shaker Heights High School] to write rhymes. I didn’t even have music to write to,” Quach said. “I just expressed my thoughts and my problems, and the problems with society.”
By 16, Tanis was releasing content online. Since then, Quach says he’s grown as an artist and as a man.
“I think I’ve become more fearless. I’m a lot more direct with the things that I say,” Quach explained. “And I don’t let anything stop me from saying something. I don’t care about the enemies or the [controversy]. [And] I don’t place any limits to myself. I love all styles of music, I have no boundaries to what I choose to do next.”
“Untitled .8” Music Video
One word that describes Quach as an artist and as a person is outspoken. His prophetic, caps lock anecdotes on systemic racism and other issues in America spill onto his lyrics. Never afraid to speak his mind, Quach lets his thoughts spill onto the page and into his listeners’ ears and has gotten traction throughout the local rap scene for his lyricism.
“People associate me with any artist who’s popular who’s known for their lyricism, like J. Cole. But that’s only on a service level,” Quach elaborated. “When people go beyond that service level, they understand the topics that I discuss and it hits deep.”
Speaking of topics, Quach has spouted visceral remarks on politics, the treatment of people of color in America, the Illuminati, conspiracy theories and whistle-blowing exposés from former government officials in his music. However, Quach does find time to write songs with a lighter edge for casual listeners. As he writes in his Soundcloud biography, “I attempt mainly to express deeper, more socially conscious thoughts in my music, but I still lighten it up every now and again.”
When asked if he could shout one message from the top of the world, Quach chose a more noble message of peace and prosperity through faith.
“I would say to tell people to turn to God, let Jesus in their lives, move away from the satanism and negativity and consumerism,” Quach said. “That’s one of the reasons why I wrote ‘HE COMIN’. [And] we got to address the poor. They don’t get represented enough.”
Preparing for his next concert on July 27 at the Phantasy Nightclub for Vibe Fest 2018 (click here for ticket info), Quach eagerly awaits for any chance to show his skills in front of a crowd, and has an interesting analogy to the thrill of performing on stage.
“[Performing for me is] like a robbery. It’s so fast, so potent, people stop and latch on to what I’m saying, and it’s like I’m gone in a flash,” Quach said.
Several of Quach’s videos were directed by CSU alumni James Iubelt, including his latest music video “Untitled .8”. Quach says that working with Iubelt has only sparked even grander ideas.
“It was the moments between shooting [that were my favorite],” Quach elaborated. “We would be talking about our ideas and conceptualizing them and it was like a meeting of the minds. All kinds of people from different backgrounds and different wavelengths, all coinciding and making something cool.”
As mentioned before, Quach prides himself on his ability to find samples everywhere and from every corner of the entertainment umbrella. From audio books and the Bible to public domain material and international music trends, nothing is out of his reach when it comes to Quach’s ear for a new beat. For Quach, it’s as spontaneous and diverse as his interests.
“I think of it as a sixth sense. It comes from within,” Quach explained. “I’ll hear something, it’ll tap me on the shoulder, it’ll tap my foot [to the rhythm] and it’s like it’s just meant to be.”
One example of a more off-beat sample is present in Tanis’ single “The. Power. Button”, where Quach uses audio from the series finale of Boy Meets World.
“It was originally supposed to [have been] a sample from one of my favorite shows, ‘The Martin Lawrence Show’, but it did not match the beat,” Quach elaborated. “So I found the finale episode of “Boy Meets World” and it was perfect.”
“The. Power. Button”
Quach said of his favorite, most influential artists are Laryn Hill, Eminem, Lil Wayne, Nas, and Tupac.
Whether he’s out driving around on the Cleveland Heights streets in his vintage Cadillac or performing for fans, Quach says that he is always open to conversation from fans and interested listeners and encourages discussion of his music and the issues he raps about. Quach openly shares his phone number on his Soundcloud and encourages people who appreciate his music and his message to contact him personally, as well as discover where he will be next.
“Just follow me on Facebook,” Quach said. “I repost all events that I’m performing at or invited to.”
Featured photo courtesy of Tanis Quach