The Adventures of TIN, Q&A with the neo-R&B Artist
Meet TIN, a Vietnamese-American neo-R&B artist rising from Brooklyn. Using eerily, bouncy beats and layered lyrics, TIN tackles the subject of his Asian identity and experiences in songs like "RGB" and "Yellow Gem". Winner of the Uncaged Heroes competiton, TIN caught up with us to talk about his journey so far and and what's next.
MANDO: You started your musical foray as TIN about a year ago, what prompted you to take this first step? Can you tell us a little about your relationship with music and journey that allowed you make the music you do now?
TIN: In the beginning of 2017, I started spending a lot more time alone and found out that music’s always been showing me a version of myself I wanted to become. My relationship with it had always been there, but at a young age, I became really good at suppressing the emotions that music wanted to investigate. When I finally moved to New York in 2015, I stopped worrying so much about shit and just started firing from the center of me, it felt pure. I found meaning in a sound I created. And that opened a portal to who I really was.
MANDO: Tell us about your creative process? Where do you find musical inspiration? What non-musical sources inspire you?
TIN: When you spend time with people you admire, you can get into the deepest shit you haven’t worked out for yourself. Every ethereal, vague thought you once had can break through a fog and then it becomes such a good human insight. So often, I end up interrupting my friends while their in the middle of telling a story and I write down a phrase they might have just said. One that comes to mind which really set me off was: “I’m living two forevers in a day.”
MANDO: A core mission of MANDO is to represent the intersection of cultures and identities, what are you the intersections of?
TIN: The problem is that I want to be an intersection of everything: music, design, sexuality, community, fashion, identity, gaming, emerging technology… it goes on, so maybe I wanna be an intersection of an intersection of an intersection!
MANDO: You’ve spoken about how at one time in your life you were ashamed of being Asian, and how TIN is the embodiment of you embracing that piece of your identity. Can you tell us a little about what sparked your reflection and in turn reconciliation?
TIN: TIN gave me reflection and reconciliation because when I started this project I couldn’t turn to many asian-american artists who paved the way. So It made me want to do it myself. It helped me put forth an identity I had always wanted to see exist in the world.
MANDO: Congratulations on winning the Uncaged Heroes competition, it’s great to see amazing Asian artists coming together! What has the experience meant to you?
TIN: Thank you!! Here I come Seoul! It was such a huge platform for me to share my music, even if only for 15 minutes at a time. I worked in the 48 hours prior to show to gather as many asians as I could to join me on stage as a performance art piece for solidarity. We stood about 15 strong on stage while a racist audio compilation about asians I created played in the background. That set the tone for the rest of the short set. There were asians on stage and in the audience, and we were all drinking asian beers - what more could we ask for?
MANDO: Put the reader onto a dope Vietnamese thing that they might not know!
TIN: Listen to SUBOI! She just joined 88rising and I can’t be more obsessed with vietnamese women, in vietnam, pushing far beyond the kinds of boundaries they’d have here in America for example.