Solo artists Donwill, Ilyas Nashid, and Von Pea formed rap group Tanya Morgan on a message board in 2003. Coming together for a one-off project, the trio decided on their name as an inside joke to trick potential listeners into thinking the record was an old-school soul singer.

Their debut album, Moonlighting, was a hit, earning the respect of fans and fellow musicians like Questlove alike, and the group decided to continue working together. They have since released two mixtapes and a follow up album in 2009 titled Brooklynati, paying homage to the artists’ hometowns of Brooklyn and Cincinnati.

SPIN Music Editor, Charles Aaron, describes Tanya Morgan as “like the sons of De La Soul – soulful, stressed, effortlessly smart flows, intricate production, the whole package.” This certainly seems to hold true, as the group has received critical acclaim from the likes of XXL Magazine, XLR8R, the Los Angeles Times, Billboard, NY Magazine, and countless others.

Their music comes from a true love of hip hop and grassroots beginnings, as well as trying to infuse their sound and branding with creativity. For the release of Brooklynati, they created an entire fictitious city online, including a full city website, map, video newscasts, and Mayor Questlove. Artists like Missy Elliot and Outkast used to bring a certain level of creativity to hip hop, and Tanya Morgan are looking to continue the tradition of engaging the audience’s imagination.

Since Brooklynati, Illyas Nashid has left the group to pursue his solo material, but Donwill and Von Pea continue creating music as Tanya Morgan. Together, they released their third album, Rubber Souls, in September of 2013. You can check out more from Tanya Morgan on their website and Facebook page.



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