Tinashe Hits Summer Jam, 106 & Park (and loves Lana)

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The next generation of music in America is waiting to be discovered. Whether bedroom producers or Youtube vocalists, the defining traits of young musicians today are their independence, their ingenuity, and their use of the internet as a platform to be heard.

Tinashe, a 21 year old California beauty, is one of the most undeniable talents of the movement, riding high on this next wave of music before it breaks on the mainstream. A naturally charismatic performer, Tinashe grabbed everyone’s attention last year with her homemade track Boss, which was later remixed by Ryan Hemsworth. As she prepares to step into the spotlight under the wing of the label RCA, her only challenge is having too much talent to fit on one album.

This morning, with a few hours to spare between gracing Boston’s WJMN’s Summer Jam & Park we took a walk through Central Park with the beguiling Tinashe to get the 411 on the next moves in her career.

 What’s the title of your album and when does it come out?

It’s called Aquarius and it’s supposed to come out at the end of the summer.

 Wait you’re an Aquarius? Me too…we’re both crazy.

Haha, yup.


What inspired you on the album?

I wanted to make something that was an introduction to who I am, so I just took a lot of influence from where I was at at the time that I was writing, as I’ve been in this process of building myself as an artist.

What we loved so much about ‘Boss’ is that it was so obvious that you made it and that it was all you.

Yeah, it was really important to me as I started making music (my mixtapes), that it came from a really genuine place. And since I was making it in my room, it really couldn’t get more genuine than that. It was really important for me to try to keep that in the album as well.


“2 On” is your first single off Aquarius—how would you describe what that means (to us white people)?

It’s like going hard at the club, it’s like ‘turnt up,’ like when people say you’re ‘one on’ it turned to being you’re ‘TWO on’ and that’s where it came from.

Who are your album influences?

Well, Janet Jackson and Michael… and Sade.

Anyone recent?

I really love SBTRKT, Little Dragon… James Blake!


What does the album sound like?

It sounds like my mixtapes a little bit, but with a progression. It’s rooted in R&B influences with some hip hop and alternative.

You’re like the R&B Lana.

Yeah! I love her

 What are your end of year accomplishments?

Hopefully a # 1 album! And more shows.


How’d you get out of Kentucky?

Well, I only lived there for two months as a baby, but we moved to outside of Chicago, and I moved to LA between ages 6 or 7. Then I started acting and making music. I’ve been in entertainment for awhile.

If your music was a film genre what would it be?

I think a drama, with some humor—but really well written and filmed beautifully.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned about entertainment?

To not doubt yourself and have a strong sense of self.


And what’s your favorite ice cream flavor?

Cookies and cream, Oreo!

Photos by Carlos Santolalla