Black Artist and Scientist Series
Spotlight Artist: Tattie Renaerts

Written by Garvin Chinnia

I’m Garvin Chinnia, RA of INCUBATOR Art Lab. I am pleased to introduce our first Spotlight Artist, Tattie Renaerts. Tattie and I have known each other since 2017, and I have personally experienced both of his vocal repotoire and visual art. On a Sunday afternoon in April, we sat down for a Zoom interview to discuss his practice.

Tattie Renaerts is a vocalist and visual artist based in Chilliwack, British Columbia. Born in Ethiopia, Tattie emigrated to Canada at the young age of 5 years old. He has overcome numerous challenges, including the death of his mother, but he was able to rise above the shock of relocation and has since come into his own and thrived. Growing up with a large family in Canada, he learned to maneuver and navigate the different social hemispheres of life.


Tattie made his bones busking in Vancouver, BC. His wide vocal repertoire ranges from hip-hop and rap to pop. He used busking to help him refine his vocal practice. Busking allowed him to gauge how well the public received his work, which was mostly freestyle. Such direct public performances also allowed him to gain confidence in his performance ability. As such, he tried to take as many opportunities as he could to get out and busk. Tattie looks at such public engagements as fieldwork, gaining as much data as possible, and says “I’m the kind of person who seeks novelty instead of keeping it in the past.”

On Tattie’s Instagram, he has songs where he is out walking in nature with his camera pointed at trees. He sings to the nature around him. When asked where he drew his inspiration from Tattie says, “it’s a balance, cause you don’t want to be listening to too many others so you don’t become too derivative.”

Currently, Tattie is working on an EP called Mellow-tone-in. He describes his work by saying, “The beats are chill, but the way I rap on some of them is not so chill. The flow and tone are kinda wavy.” He is also working on a more lyrical EP that has more of a lyrical and spiritual underground tone.

Tattie has been collaborating with another artist called Nodiumbearts, who makes the music that Tattie raps over. Tattie does the vocals and contracts out for his beats. He likes being able to pay for beats, and while he has worked with royalty-free material before, he stresses that it is best practice to pay for beats that one puts their voice to. By doing so, he advocates for giving recognition to those who are underrecognized in the industry and using one’s platform to amplify voices and abilities.


Visual practice
Tattie currently works as a draftsman for Westbow Construction where he designs residential real estate images. His work is very collaborative and goes through different iterations and stages. When asked how he uses creativity in the design process, Tattie spoke about the use of lighting and photography techniques to tell a story to make the designs marketable. Tattie is very interested in the interplay between the landscape and the building, as well as how figures interact with the pieces.

Is there a difference between mindsets when it comes to creating music versus visual art? Tattie explains that he seems to be more meditative and more intuitive when compositing visual pieces compared to when creating musical pieces. In his music, he is critically aware of his inputs from both nature and the wide range of literature he consumes. There is an emotional push and connection to rapping and the easing of angst, that he does not feel as strongly when creating visual art. He finds visual art more calming and less reactionary.

Connect with Tattie on social media to see more of his work:
Instagram: @tatties_mantra