The ringing of curious synths slowly fills the atmosphere like smoke escaping from a void on Tangina Stone's latest EDM release, "AIR". The crescendo of hollow sirens moves in tandem with flashing blue and red lights. The lights shine onto a dimly-lit room; exposing what seems like a hopeless scenario. Tangina gasps for her last breath.
Tangina has been here before: tired and exhausted of not only bearing the weight of her own struggles but of those she loves. Snares begin to pump life-giving oxygen into her lungs, and we hear Tangina's on-the-brink vocals echo: "I'm searching for peace and hurting. Why you got me goin' round and round? I can feel I'm going down and down."
"AIR" is a vulnerable and transparent awakening of what can happen when life and love knock you off balance. When relationships and life itself exhaust you to the point of depletion. Throughout "AIR", Tangina makes allusions to both the beauty and ugliness of love. Her impassioned vocals shatter against a powerful tempest to expose the sometimes toxic side of self-sacrifice.
The dynamic hues of "AIR" bring forth a tone of new beginnings, thanks to production from Toronto's 22-year-old electronic producer White Light. With elements of retro synth, dance-pop and house, the track crafts an awe-inspiring stage for Tangina's vocals to shine through. The song's heavy bass drops resound like taking a big gulp of air before plunging into a sea. Despite the booming velocity of "AIR", the track cultivates a powerful stillness. "AIR" encourages its listeners to overcome their hurts, breathe through them, and never let go of hope. Its lyrics, written by Tangina Stone and Rebecca Madro, bring a sense of undying optimism that contrasts beautifully with the upbeat electronic production.
Apart from being a hopeful manifesto for new beginnings, "AIR" also signifies an important milestone for Tangina: solidifying herself as a black artist in EDM who is here and here to stay. "Simply put, there are not enough black voices being elevated in genres outside of hip hop and R&B. We get funnelled into one space," Tangina shares with EARMILK over email. "I am not releasing "AIR" because I want to redefine myself as an EDM artist. 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."