Mumbai based Tanmay Saxena aka Tienas blends chaotic beats with relatable narratives to offer a sonic experience like no other Indian hip-hop artiste can. In a city, where gully rap is the norm, Tienas pushes the boundaries and explores his art further in English.
Team Radio City Freedom caught up with the artiste as he spoke about his latest album, ‘O’.
How much of an influence have Eminem and Nujabes been in your pursuit of becoming a rapper?
Tienas: Eminem has always been an inspiration when I was starting out, up until the point when I got bored of rapping fast and filling my verses with multisyllabic rhymes, wordplay, metaphors, etc. I realised I wasn't saying anything. Nujabes, to be honest, I never really heard religiously except one or two tracks. People just compared my vibe with both of these respected artists.
How do you see yourself as the lone English rapper in a city inundated with gully rap?
Tienas: I see myself the same way I saw myself when everyone was rapping in English. It makes no difference to me what language I'm doing or what anyone is doing it in. It just has to be good music strictly. You can ask Shah Rule or Raja Kumari the same question. They might feel a bit differently about it.
What was the thought process behind conceptualising ‘O’? Tell us about your learnings through your collaborations with Prabh Deep and Seedhe Maut on the album.
Tienas: The concept was to make a collection of catchy songs which even 5-year-olds can sing along to. As for writing with Prabh and Seedhe Maut, I didn’t learn anything in particular, I just made the songs, sent it to them and they did their part.
Where do you see hip-hop heading in India?
Tienas: Dying down like trends always do. The real will prosper though.
What’s next in store?
Tienas: You gotta wait man. Let’s see what comes out.