• Smooth Jazz Network

Ben Tankard: Behind the Beats

Each week we'll take you 'Behind the Beats' to learn more about the artists that play on our airwaves. This week: Ben Tankard.


Your latest CD is titled SHINE, with the new single “Just Like Music". How did it come together?

Mom use to wake me and siblings up for school each morning by coming into our rooms singing "Rise And Shine Tankards!".....I guess the name stuck with me....lol. We are super honored and blessed that my last CD "RISE" did so well in sales and radio airplay. "Shine" is simply a follow-up to that record. Once you rise it's time to shine right? As for the single, I believe everyone has a favorite Marvin Gaye song or and "Just Like Music" happens to be mine.


Is Joel Osteen as nice as he seems?

He sure is! Joel is a super nice friend and always positive. I enjoy the 10-12 times a year I get to hang out with him as a serve with his Champion's Network. One of the biggest wisdom nuggets I have picked up from Joel is "Don't Fight Battles That Don't Matter"....



You were recently inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame! Congratulations. How does it feel?

I am super honored that the Gospel Music Industry has acknowledged me in this manner. I feel so proud that we have been able to pioneer a hybrid style by merging two genres of music together - gospel and jazz for almost 30 years. The biggest thrill is to see how it makes the listeners feel and bring a smile to many faces.


Your talents are many. You played in the NBA, are a television star, recording artist, pastor and motivational speak! What motivates you?

Honestly speaking, being raised in poverty, I believe some of my work ethic and motivation comes from never wanting to be poor again...LOL

But, on the real deal - I am a “Musicianary” at heart (part musician part missionary), so my many hats and success really are just to arm me with influence to help me to reach the "underdog" and encourage others to fine their hidden talents.


How has the pandemic impacted your creative life, touring and business in general?

When the pandemic hit I was scheduled to come off the road for a few months and work on a new CD so I just happened to be home for a while anyway. I started a mini concert from my music lad, SmoothSunday's w/Tank on Facebook every Sunday evening just to stay connected with the fans and it has grown tremendously. My streaming and sales have skyrocketed up 400% over the pandemic but I still look forward to getting out and seeing the fans again as things open up.... plus I need an excuse to fly these 2 airplanes that are in the hanger, as a pilot I LOVE to fly.


Any advice for up and coming recording artists?

Great question and I have several tips....


1) Be yourself..... Everyone else is already taken. There is a gift in YOU that no one else has...don't lose it trying to be a copycat or repeat what is popular.


2) Don't be a "one trick pony"......in other words, keep growing and keep learning. Sometimes your music passion does not feed you! Develop other gifts OUTSIDE of your music. During the pandemic I started learning about HFX FOREX Binary trading and became pretty good at it. I can earn in one 5 minute trade what it takes the average artist a month to earn. Not bragging, just making a point that if you develop other streams then you can use THAT resource to finance the music creations and promotions and not have to wait on a record company or a GoFundme program to get your music out.


3) Keep your day job until after your 2nd Grammy Award...Lol.



Any sneak preview for Season 4 of “The Tankards”?

YES, just go to my Facebook page and we will post weekly "spoilers" for the upcoming season that premiers July 4, 2021 on Amazon and syndication. You guys will love my wacky family ...My wife Jewel and I have a full-time job with these 5 children and 6 grands! Life is good.



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