In this series, we’re getting to know the finalists who have defeated the other contestants from their cities to reach the Rap Wars Final, which is being held at Oasis’16, BITS Pilani on the 21st October 2016.
Full name: Tanmay Saxena
Stage name: Tienas
DHH: What are you currently doing?
TIENAS: I’m Currently Rapping and Producing Music for a living. I also participated in a lot of Competitions and Performances at various places for time to time. I’ve had many job outlets such as a Waiter , Bartender (Helper) and a Cashier but I just couldn’t help but get fired .
DHH: When did you start rapping? How old were you?
TIENAS: In 2012, I was 16 years Old .
DHH: What attracted you to rapping?
TIENAS: The First rap I ever heard was 50 Cent’s Candy Shop in 2010. I wasn’t rapping as a Passion back then, I just liked the beats and lyrics that he was saying. In 2012 my brother and I saw 8 miles and got inspired by that movie to pick up the pen start writing man . The thing that attracts me to Rap is the complex bars, flow and the beat.
DHH: What is your inspiration behind the lyrics that you write?
TIENAS: I take some of my Inspiration from when I was a Kid, because when you Stutter you get clowned a lot, but that’s not the only thing I rap about in my songs, I’ve got songs about mostly everything. I don’t kid when I say that .
I got like more than 500 tracks written since 2012 man. The inspiration behind my writings comes from the topic I choose to write a song about, I write down everything. Even though it’s stupid in the beginning. I give importance to finishing a project than to perfecting it as it’s on the people to say if its perfect or not. All I can do is finish it .
DHH: Where did you learn to rap from?
TIENAS: I learnt to rap from listening to songs man. All of my favourite Rappers taught me how to rap, I took something from Eminem, some from Jay-Z, some from Nas, some from Tech, some from Logic and some from J.cole, Hopsin, Jarren Benton, G-Eazy, Kendrick Lamar, and mixed it up .
DHH: What are your songs generally about?
TIENAS: Some are based on my experience and some are me showing how Lyrical I am, some are poking fun at others or myself, and Some are just my vivid imaginations. As I said I write down everything, word, a thought, bars, rhymes, etc. can’t leave nothing alone . When I’m sad I write a sad song, when I’m happy I might joke on a record and when I’m angry I’ll scream my frustration out on a Song .
DHH: What is the best part about being a rapper?
TIENAS: The best part about being a Rapper is you can express your heart into a song, but sometimes it’s hard to express in a 48 Bar Verse. You can give your opinions about the Society rather than Tweeting about it, you can show someone how much you love them by writing a song about them vice a verse if you hate someone just write a diss song. It is a great way to express yourself if you’re an introvert like me because when you are rapping on the mic everyone is listening to you, rather than cutting you off when you tryna speak your heart out.
DHH: What is the most challenging part?
TIENAS: The challenging part is not writing a song, not flowing fast, it’s not coming up with bars and metaphors and similes, it’s not making a beat from scratch. It’s not even sampling a sample or making a catchy hook; The most challenging part is to stay motivated and inspired. I’ve seen many rappers quit within these 4 years, there are times when we feel down, uninspired, demotivated, lost, unappreciated, but these are the times that are the nectar to happiness. I mean without these sad blue days, happiness and satisfaction won’t taste so sweet as they sound. Success doesn’t feel like success without struggle.
DHH: What are you working on right now?
TIENAS: I’m working on my debut album “The Depressed Teen”, I mean the record is done, but I’m not satisfied with the mixing and mastering so working on it to completely satisfy my ears.
DHH: Do you plan on pursuing this full-time in the future? If no then why and what is your career choice?
TIENAS: Yes I am. I planned on pursuing this full time since the day I started rapping even though I was a whack in the beginning, but I worked hard at it and I still do. Many people told me I won’t make it or won’t succeed in the Industry if I don’t make Hindi songs , But I have a strange feeling, though. Gotta prove em’ wrong.
DHH: What has your family’s reaction been to this talent of yours?
TIENAS: In the beginning when I dropped my education in 11th standard they weren’t really riding with the thought of me pursuing my career as a rapper, because, Hey whens the last time you heard a parent say “Mera Baccha Bada hoke Rapper Banega“. But as I grew up and worked on my skills and technology and they started supporting me not 100 percent , but 50 percent. They said “Rap ke saath Mein Kuch Na Kuch Toh ho hi Jayega Tera“. They still don’t want me to pursue it, they want me to get a Degree (Lol) and I think the day I turn my parents 100 percent, will be the day I can change the world.
DHH: What does rapping mean to you?
TIENAS: Everything! It’s the last thing that comes to my mind when I sleep and the first thing I wake up and thinking about. Shit sometimes I get I’ll thoughts, rhyme schemes, punchlines and wordplays when I’m sleeping or I’m in a dream. So most of the time I sleep with my phone beside me so that I can write that down when my eyes open. :P
Me giving this interview is because of Hip-Hop . Rap is the only way that I can satisfy myself with .
DHH: Which artists, International or Indian, are your inspirations?
TIENAS: Any artist that can spit that lyrical shit and at the same time speak about the realness, the list is long I’ll try to shorten it up as much as I can, Rakim, Eminem, B.I.G, Pac, 50 Cent, Jay-Z, Nas, J.cole, Kendrick Lamar, Logic, The Whole FV Crew, King Crooked and the whole Slaughterhouse, Yelawolf, Russ, The Beatles, The Doors, Nirvana, Brother V and My Brother Dan with whom I started rapping.
DHH: What was the feeling like when you make someone listen to your rap for the very first time or when you performed your rap on stage for the very first time?
TIENAS: When I make someone listen to my song I hope for a total attention towards the track and if I don’t get it I’ll tTurn it off because what’s the point? and when I do get it and watch them vibe to the song it’s a great feeling. Can’t express it in words.
I still remember my first performance when the first time I picked the mic it was in a Park near my house, some of my friends were conducting a football tournament with around 40 heads at that moment and my friends had everything- the mic’s, big ass speakers, mixers everything. So during halftime one of my friend gave me the mic and played one of my song’s beat and told me to rap, at first I was shy but when I got in the mode I just closed my eyes and went all in. The song was weak as fuck when I listen to it now but at that time it was dope. People were screaming and shit because they never heard anything like that before. It was the greatest man. It was dope.
DHH: What’s the key to being a successful rapper?
TIENAS: Except for working hard, practising, the other things which are key to being a successful Rapper is you need promotion. Sometimes I feel all you need is a promotion crew, who are promoting your song, playing your songs so much on the T.V. and Radio that the people think it is the best music or is the music they should hear. you’ve got dudes who can’t spit as hard as 16, can’t ride a beat, don’t have the skill set to write a meaningful track and they are famous. People love the cliche party dance songs about alcohol and having sex with a girl in the club, while on the other hand the artist who can do magic with their pen are still stuck in the underground. Why? Because the whack famous rappers got a promotion crew spreading their shitty ass songs .
DHH: If you had to describe yourself to someone who doesn’t know you at all, what would you say? (What are your interests other than rapping, are you an introvert/extrovert, what is the one thing that you are well-known among your friends for other than rapping? Are you always bubbly and cheerful or do you often keep to yourself etc)
TIENAS: I’m an introvert and it’s really difficult for me to talk to new people and make new friends. So maybe I’ll just tell em’ I rap, write and make music because that’s all I have in my life, my life revolves around Hip-Hop. There was this one girl at the venue where I was performing in Mumbai and after the performance, she was eyeballing me and I was eyeballing her but I didn’t have the guts to go and have a conversation. That’s because I think I’ll get things weirded up with my social skills, stuttering and etc, the one thing I’m well known among my friends rather than Rapping is making stupid jokes that are clever and funny. But they just don’t seem to like it :P