This Black History Month, Atwood Magazine has invited artists to participate in a series of essays, interviews, reviews, poetry, playlists, and more features in recognition of, and out of respect for the symbolism and significance of this month.
Today, queer multi-genre NYC-based singer, songwriter, and producer Tangina Stone interviews her neighbor Lenny as a part of Atwood Magazine’s Black History Month series. Active since 2014, Stone’s stunning singing voice and compelling blend of rock, soul, R&B, and electronic influences has earned her praise throughout the industry and helped make her a rising musical force. She unveiled her debut album Elevate in 2017, which reached #24 on iTunes’ Top R&B Albums. Her song “Exposed” featuring Nelly Furtado spent eight weeks on the iTunes Japan Top Tracks. She has released a string singles over the past three years that find her continuously pushing boundaries and reinventing herself.
There is no singular Tangina Stone sound, style, or genre, and for that she is deeply proud: “I am not releasing ‘AIR’ because I want to redefine myself as an EDM artist,” she shared in an EARMILK interview in 2019, upon the release of her EDM-inspired song, “AIR.” “I am releasing it to say that I can be. Because I, and black artists, in general, can create music in whatever genre that we feel and still be ourselves. Simply put, there are not enough black voices being elevated in genres outside of hip hop and R&B. We get funneled into one space.”
Stone released her latest single, the intimately alluring “Petty,” in December 2020. A soulful seduction, “Petty” dwells in the throes of love and tension, and showcases Stone’s multi-faceted artistry against an ethereal backdrop full of nuanced sounds and hot grooves. Stone is currently in the process of finalizing her sophomore album Pisces, set for release later this year.
In addition to music, Stone also has her own beer distributed throughout North America (US & Canada) with Collective Arts Brewery, and is one of the faces of Foria Wellness.
Black. Queer. Here
by Tangina Stone
Lenny is my next door neighbor. We have lived beside each other for over five years. We live in Bedstuy Brooklyn, NY. On the block, we all affectionately call Lenny the “Mayor” because he has lived in his brownstone all of his life and he’s the boss. Nothing goes down on the block without Lenny knowing about it. We first met when I parked in the front of his driveway one day and he asked me to move. Directly after, I introduced myself and then he introduced himself as “the Mayor of the block.”
Over the years I have had the pleasure of getting to know Lenny personally. When I see him, he always catches me up to speed on what astrological things are happening. He is a proud Gemini who always warns me before Mercury goes into retrograde.He shows up when I invite him to my concerts and gives me great feedback on my music. He has a great ear because he is also an artist and knows “the good shit” when he hears it. My partner and I are two queer black women and as one of our elders, Lenny gives so much love to us. He pours so much into us with his beautiful storytelling.
In my music video for my most recent single release called “Petty,” I wanted to pay homage to my queer elders by embodying their styles, fashion and love. I felt that it was only right to celebrate its release by interviewing one of my elders, and allowing him to tell his stories.
So many of Lenny’s stories start the same way: “Yeah, because back at the Paradise Garage we used to…” When a story starts like this, I know that it is going to be good. Every year when Black History Month rolls around, I wonder: When we will get to a place where it is celebrated year round? I also wonder why I don’t come across more stories like Lenny’s. Black queer history is extremely underrepresented during BHM and in general. Black History Month includes black queer history too. These stories deserve to be told. These stories deserve to be celebrated.
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📸 © Christopher Levy
:: Tangina Stone ::
Stream: “Petty” – Tangina Stone