Tinashe is a singer-songwriter, producer, dancer and actor whose mixtapes, albums and self-produced releases turned her into a global star. She started out in entertainment at the age of three, and by her teens she had starred in movies like The Polar Express, TV shows like Two and a Half Men and most recently, the current season of Empire. When she realised she wanted to give music a go, she put acting aside and joined the all-girl band The Stunners, opening for Justin Bieber in 2010. But Tinashe had her own plans, so she learned production and built a studio in her bedroom, self-releasing her first mixtape In Case We Die in 2012 to critical acclaim. Her 2014 debut album Aquarius, with her personal moody blend of pop, r&b and grind, was on many best-of-the-year lists and included collaborations with A$AP Rocky and Future. She released a new project, Nightride, last autumn, and has just put out a new single, the literally fiery Flame, ahead of her anticipated new album Joyride. Tired of a sexist music industry that forces women to compete against each other, she continues to live at home in California with her parents and brothers.
I’m always trying to evolve as an artist.
I don't want to stay the same or put myself in a box sonically so I take elements of everything that inspires me and throw them into my music which is fun. My biggest inspirations for my upcoming album Joyride have been travelling to a lot of different countries and hearing how people consume music at the clubs and on the radio since what they listen to in clubs in Seoul or Dubai versus on the radio in the UK is so distinctive. A big musical inspiration for me growing up was Janet Jackson because she encompasses everything about an artist that is exciting to me – the performance element, great music, versatility, emotion, sensuality, excitement, and great videos.
How you present yourself on any particular day is all about how you feel.
I’m always trying to be true to my instincts and I don’t think it will ever lead you astray if you trust yourself. Fashion is really important to me and one of my biggest style inspirations is Solange. Even though I don’t think my personal style is similar to hers, I just really appreciate how she is very committed to her own and isn’t afraid to break the rules. That, to me, is a style icon. One of my favourite pop culture moments is Britney Spears at the VMAs in 2001 with the snake - ultimate goals!
My favourite place in the world is honestly in my car.
I spend a lot of time joyriding around, often driving to nowhere and listening to music. Every time I’m at home, I probably do that once or twice a day - just go on a drive.
As I’ve gotten older, my definition of femininity has changed.
Growing up, I considered it to be more gender-specific but now I find that it really isn’t. Now that I’m an adult, I see it as a sense of self, of who you are, an inner confidence that comes out. It’s really important for all women to have because it’s so easy to be swayed in any particular direction in what can often feel like a male-dominated world.
I’ve always loved everything paranormal.
Anything that’s just a little bit strange, I've always gravitated towards. Energy is so powerful and I always want to have good energy and positive vibes around me but on the flip side of that, I’m kind of fascinated by people's dark and mysterious sides too.