Panda City Interview
Produced by Meryl "LJ" DeWitt
Written by Tamara Grant | Edited by Rachel Rosell
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Tamara Grant: When did you guys start your band?
Clacc: We got together around the end of December 2015/beginning of January 2016. I put up a few ads on Craigslist and "voila!" We haven't looked back since.
Tamara: Where did you get your name from?
Clacc: Well, we were looking for something that kind of represented us. I mean let's face it, we're a strange looking group. Since we are three white musicians and a black lead, we thought a panda would be our "spirit animal." Lastly, most of the lyrics come from experiences we shared while living in New York City. So we put the two together and came up with Panda City.
Tamara: Who usually writes the lyrics?
Clacc: I am solely responsible for the writing of the lyrics. I'm sure these guys can write if they really put their minds to it. Although, I have an obsession with being one of the greatest songwriters ever. I have a phone full of lyrics that tally up to about 1,500 in total.
Tamara: Who are some of your music influences?
Clacc: I would have to say Jay- Z, Kanye West, Frank Ocean, Queen, J. Cole and my grandmother, Irene Reid. Cool story, she was sampled by Lil' Kim and Kanye West. Look it up!
Tamara: A popular song that you guys have made is called “Don’t Shoot”. What are your thoughts on the Black Lives Matter movement and how important is it to you guys?
Clacc: We have different views on it, I suppose. This, of course, is one of the things that make us so great. My take on it is the BLM movement is absolutely necessary. Being an African male is difficult these days. It's almost tiring the amount of effort that goes into staying alive these days. I guess Black people are fed up, I know I am. Like all African American movements, this is looked down upon, but will benefit so many in the future.
Tamara: A funny story that happened during a show?
Clacc: During a live song, Dyce (a featured artist on the song) and myself did the "Kid and Play" dance. We were almost certain we were going to knock everything down. It all ended well, so I guess there was no harm done.
Tamara: Who is the biggest troublemaker in the group and what is something he has done?
Clacc: I wouldn't know really. I'd have to say myself. I've done some things in the past that'll shock my mom if she ever reads this. For the most part, our sessions are full of laughs and are trouble free.
Tamara: Do you like where hip hop music is today?
Clacc: I love where hip hop is today. I appreciate different varieties of music. I love conscious rap and I love ignorant rap as well. So the more the better in my opinion.
Tamara: How do you guys see yourselves fitting into the music scene?
Clacc: We don't. We aim to be the outsiders.
Tamara: What is the music scene the South Bronx ?
Clacc: Music has always been a huge part of the South Bronx. You can't go two blocks without hearing a speaker bumping some new tunes. I'm not aware of many venues but I know good music is truly appreciated in my hometown.
Tamara: Where do you guys see yourselves in 5 years?
Clacc: Probably on top of the charts. Either there, or performing in strip clubs.... That was a joke lol.
Tonight I'm bringing you a new band that perfectly captures the soul of the Bronx. Their classic hip hop vibes combined with new indie rock makes for a refreshing sound. Working hard to capture acceptance and celebrate diversity, Panda City is bound to make waves in the new generation. Recently Tamara talked with frontman and the mastermind behind the band, Clacc.