I got a chance to speak with firebrand rapper Hakuna Tanaka before the release of her new album AUDIO -RETRATO (out today, wherever you get your tunes from) She specializes in lyrically dense hip hop with rock and reggae twists.
Avocado – Hola, thanks for the interview. The best way to start is to let you introduce yourself, so who is Hakuna Tanaka? What’s your philosophy and how did you get started in rap?
HT – Hakuna Tanaka is a rapper who was born in Alicante, who was always familiar with writing
until she discovered the hip hop culture where she identified herself and found her place within the 4 elements of Hip Hop, being an MC.
My philosophy is to make the Rap that I want, have fun without censorship and with clear messages about
what I live and see in society. I started rapping when I discovered that rap music
existed, when I was 12 or 13 years old, thanks to my brother’s Randy MC record “Sand Breakdance”
A – Before all the pandemic restrictions you were a prolific live performer, how is it going getting back to doing shows?
The pandemic has split everything into a “before” and “after” , we were having quite a few concerts, we have canceled many and we are still waiting to recover some. We have learned to adapt and continue with the show with more enthusiasm than ever in these crazy times, but it is very rare to sing live nowadays.
A- You have a few collaborations on the album, who is still on your wish list to work with?
HT- On my list would be people like Tesa who is a Valencian rapper who has a lot of style, like a vocal machete, who are warriors and I identify a lot with them. And on my almost impossible list would be Sfdk or Mala Rodriguez.
A– On “En Primera Persona” you pay homage to the Uruguayan writer Mario Benedetti, one of the “Generation 45”. Are they a great influence on your work?
HT- A good Uruguayan friend lent me a book by Mario Benedetti which I couldn’t put down
until I read it several times because yes, his way of writing and the theme of his lyrics caught me and I felt that I should pay tribute to him in some way, and mix his poetry with mine, and only a great like Txus (Vocalist with punk band Disidencia) could collaborate in something like that.
A- What are your plans for the rest of 2021 and beyond? (As much as you can plan these days with … everything)
HT- The plans now are to take advantage of all this time to work a lot in the studio and continue creating, rehearse a lot to organize the next concerts and innovate in the live shows with a different show than the one we are giving so far.
(With thanks to Jorge at Backline Producciones)
More info at hakunatanaka.com