When the 2020 Grammy nominations were unveiled on Wednesday (Nov. 20), Tank and the Bangas were among those getting a nod in the best new artist category. The stacked class of artists finds the band competing against the likes of Black Pumas, Billie Eilish, Lil Nas X, Lizzo, Maggie Rogers, Rosalia, and Yola for the trophy.
The soulful nine-piece band was originally formed in New Orleans in 2011 and received great acclaim with their Green Balloon album in May, which signified their arrival with the backing of a major label since inking a deal with Universal Music Group.
Here are five things to know about Tank and the Bangas.
1. The Group Met at an Open Mic Night in New Orleans
Before there were any ideas of forming a band, future group members met at a Liberation Lounge open mic night in 2011 at the Blackstar Cafe and Books in New Orleans, which has since closed down. In the past, they’ve credited linking up to “Jerk Chicken Sam’iches” and a drum set.
2. Tank and the Bangas won the 2017 NPR Tiny Desk Concert
After more than 6,000 submissions, Tank and the Bangas entry reigned supreme and landed them an appearance at NPR to perform as part of their Tiny Desk concert series. Their three-track set did not let the judges down, as they mixed elements of jazz, funk, spoken word, and hip-hop to leave the crowd in tears following the lively experience. The video has amassed nearly nine million views on YouTube.
3. It couldn’t happen without Tarriona “Tank” Ball
Tarriona “Tank” Ball serves as the heart and soul of the band. The New Orleans lifer comes from a spoken word background, but don’t sleep on her thunderous singing voice. “I grew up slamming in poetry. After we won a couple of championships, I knew that my purpose was fulfilled and I needed more to express my truth,” she told Ask NOLA. “I love gospel music, I love folk music, I love hip-hop. If I love it, I should do it.”
4. Made Their Television Debut on Fallon in April
Tank and the Bangas checked off another box in their rise in April when they made their television debut on The Tonight Show ahead of Green Balloon‘s release. The band delivered a groovy live rendition of “Nice Things,” which found Tank showing off her range by singing in a lower register, while Albert danced around playing the flute.
5. They’re Heading Out on Tour With The Revivalists
If you’re a newer fan of Tank and the Bangas and would like to experience the band live in concert, you’re in luck. The band is going back out on tour following their appearance at the Grammy Awards next year. They will be supporting The Revivalists as part of their North American Into The Stars Tour, which kicks off on Feb. 28 and runs through April 22, 2020.