A Chat with Tanoki (09.06.21)

The brainchild of producer and visual artist Paul Mahon, Tanoki is a fusion of trip-hop, funk, electropop and jazz. Following his debut single ‘Loading’, Tanoki is about to release his sophomore track ‘Let Go’. We speak with the artist about ‘Let Go’, collaborative projects, early memories and much more.

OSR: What drew you to music?

Tanoki: In terms of playing, I had friends in my teens learning guitar so I wanted to hop on that bandwagon (unfortunately never good enough for a band though). Years later having a computer with the capability of recording and layering and making simple drum patterns I was able to get into producing (sort of).

OSR: Can you tell us about your latest single ‘Let Go’?

Tanoki: ‘Let Go’ is an accidental trip-hop tune with elements of electro, jazz, funk and a dash of cinema.

OSR: What inspired the single ‘Let Go’?

Tanoki: Musically; I feel like technology really inspired the overall sound, lots of messing and experimenting and seeing where the song took itself a lot. Underneath that, my love for acts like Son Lux, Maribou State and Cinematic Orchestra to name a few. Lyrically, myself and Farah chatted loads about what it might be like to bring a robot to life and Farah did the rest.

OSR: What was your collaborative experience with Farah Elle like?

Tanoki: Incredible! What’s gas is, I arrived at Farah’s with the expectation of getting some vocals on just one song but ended up leaving with a whole expansion of piano and vocals samples for four tracks. We clicked straight away, t’was such a joy and other than being a wonderfully talented musician she’s one of the kindest people I’ve met in life. 

OSR: Do you think there will be ore collaborative projects with other artists in the future?

Tanoki: YES! Loads more. The album has two others, Colm O’Caoimh who’s a long time friend and music collaborator, as well as Tay Edwards, a rapper from the States who I met online. I’ve also started two new collabs for a future album just now as well. 

OSR: This is only your second single, but do you feel it contributes or is a definition of your sound?

Tanoki: I feel it gives a decent idea of what to expect, but the album does twist and turn in different directions so I’m really excited to see what people make of it all.

OSR: What do you hope people take from your music?

Tanoki: A bit of escapism.

OSR: What do you think is the best way to discover new music nowadays?

Tanoki: Discovery Weekly on Spotify is silly good. The amount of bangers I’ve found on that is incredible and from all corners of the world.

Local radio stations and indie hours are great as well. The sorts of places that are giving my tunes a play are fantastic for supporting smaller local acts.

OSR: What is your earliest memory?

Tanoki: Being washed in the sink in my grandparents house, I think.

OSR: If you could transform into any animal, what would it be and why that animal?

Tanoki: I mean, the ability to fly would be unreal so any sort of bird, I’m not gonna be pecky… I’ll grab my coat.

OSR: What can we expect from Tanoki in the future?

Tanoki: An album called File New, then we’ll see. I’ve ideas for a full A/V show, so maybe get to building that up seriously.

Thanks to Tanoki for speaking with us. For more from Tanoki check out his Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Spotify.

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