On Monday I saw Tinashe and I was blown away. I’ve been pretty hardcore fan (a stan) of Tinashe for a couple of years. I had one opportunity to see Tinashe this year during her Joyride Tour but I missed it and heavily regretted it. But then I was given another chance to see her for FREE earlier this week. This time around I wasn't going to her miss again and seeing her live made my summer. Tinashe did not disappoint. She sang live the entire time and KILLED her choreography.
For those who don't who Tinashe is, she is a R&B singer, producer, writer, model, and dancer. Her sound is unmatched by those she's competing against in her genre.
In Case We Die is Tinashe’s first mixtape. This tape was released in February 2012; Tinashe wrote, produced, and recorded this mixtape in the comfort of her bedroom. In Case We Die helped give Tinashe the platform to be taken seriously as a recording artist. She proved her skill of being a multitalented artist and did an excellent job on executing that. The sound on this mixtape is nothing like anyone in her genre. The beats are slowed down, her vocals ranges from every pitch, and the writing is phenomenal. I think as her debut mixtape it displayed all her skills very well. "Boss" is my favorite song off In Case We Die the hypnotic and sexy tone of this track is definitely one that stands out the most of this record.
A couple months later in in 2012 Tinashe released Reverie, her second mixtape. During the release of her sophomore mixtape, Tinashe wasn’t signed to any major label during this point in her career. Reverie received major notoriety, and Tinashe gained a larger fanbase from this release. This mixtape was critically acclaimed and managed to do well commercially with over 225,000 downloads. The leading single “Stargazing” received a flood of positive reviews. Other writers compare her music to Jhené Aiko and The Weeknd but I think that Tinashe’s sound is different from other artists in her genre. Her beats are organic and have a sense of originality. Her vocals can be compared to those of Aaliyah's but her sound and style have their own unique qualities. I think that Tinashe is one of a kind and her spacey productions and incredible vocal range is the NEW and FRESH sound that everyone is craving.
After the booming success of Reverie, Tinashe signed to RCA Records. While signed she began working on her debut album but released her third mixtape, Black Water, to please the fans. Black Water has a different quality of sound compared to her previous mixtapes. She recorded this tape in her bedroom as well but collaborated with Travi$ Scott and many well-known producers. This whole mixtape has that 3am vibe, it's filled with emotional lyrics, and hypnotic beats that just throw you into a trance. 'Stunt' is the standout and could possibly be the best on this tape. Tinashe effortlessly took the emotions of broken relationships and transformed it into a dope new sound.
January 2014, Tinashe released the ratchet summer bop of the year that was 2 On (feat. Schoolboy Q). 2 On became the leading single off her debut album Aquarius, the single went #1 on the Billboard Charts and eventually went platinum. Throughout the summer of 2014 Tinashe was becoming more known. She was performing at festivals, doing radio interviews, TV performances, and photoshoots. Aquarius was released in October 2014, and debuted at #17 in the U.S on the Billboard 200, and sold 18,000 copies first week. This album was critically acclaimed and gained positive reviews from almost everyone. This album was mentioned to be one of the best R&B albums of 2014 and I agree. The opening song “Aquarius” is my favorite, this song just flows effortlessly, and I am in love with her mesmerizing vocals and the layers of production embedded into this track. This whole album is a masterpiece, it conveys sex appeal, sadness, and raw emotion. It sounds like all her mixtapes put into one album.
Six months later Tinashe released Amethyst, her fourth mixtape. This is my favorite project that Tinashe has ever released. Tinashe wrote and produced this mixtape in her bedroom around Christmas 2014. This mixtape provides a seductive and transcendent sound. “Wrong” is the song that always stuck out to me on this tape. This song talks about being in love with someone who did you wrong. Tinashe constantly repeats “I’m still in love with you” in a hypnotic low pitched tone, and it manages to captivate me every time I hear it. “Something To Feel” follows “Wrong” with Tinashe singing about how she’s craving something to feel even though the relationship is or wasn’t real. Amethyst follows a crumbling relationship from the beginning to the end. The lyrics bounce around from being played, to not giving a fuck, to still being hurt and confused about the person who hurt you, while being in love with them.
Tinashe is truly capable of becoming an icon. She can sing live, dance live, write, produce, act, and model. I don’t see why she isn’t a household name by now. It could be something with her label and battle for creative control. Her second album Joyride is supposed to be released by now but the album date keeps getting pushed back. I’m assuming that Tinashe is having some issues with her label management which is why Joyride is delayed. I’m sure her second album will be worth the wait. She’s rumored to be collaborating with very big named artists but I hope it isn’t flooded with all collaborations because Tinashe solo on a track is perfectly fine.
Three of Tinashe's mixtapes are available on soundcloud, and I recommend that everyone checks them out.