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  • Interview: Tinashe

    Thu, 06 Feb 2014 13:23:43

    Interview: Tinashe - By ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino...

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    Today, February 6, 2014, is Tinashe's twenty-first birthday. She's kicking off a monumental year too.

    She just dropped the sexy, slick, and seductive banger "2 On" featuring ScHoolboy Q and raised the bar for new school R&B with her mixtape Black Water. However, all roads are leading to her full-length major label debut album set for release soon. Tinashe's got a silky voice that evokes Janet Jackson and Mariah Carey but with its own distinct swag. The game has a new queen...

    In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Tinashe (Tee-NAH-shay) talks "2 On", Black Water, some of her favorite movies, and so much more.

    What ties Black Water together for you?

    For me, it's a process when I'm creating music. I definitely want it to feel cohesive and like there's some sort of structure involved. I'm really behind the creation of all the music. So, I think the music already flows together naturally.

    What does "Middle of Nowhere" mean to you?

    I really love that track. It has a good message, and the lyrics can be interpreted in a lot of different ways. It was a special moment where you step aside and everything is calm and simple. It reminded me of the feeling of being in the middle of nowhere as well as that metaphor of just feeling alone. I love that. You're at peace with being alone. It's a statement.

    Where were you when you wrote it?

    I was at home in my studio in my room. That was mainly where I did most of it. Some of the record I did during some sessions in Hollywood.

    Why the name Black Water?

    I think of that as a metaphor as well for everything that's going on in my life right now—or at the time of the release of the Black Water project. It's supposedly the "calm before the storm" or the period where I'm really working and getting ready for it to all launch and explode. That was the metaphor for that.

    Is it important for you to paint pictures with the songs?

    Definitely! I think it's important when you're listening to music whether you feel it or can see it. There's a sense of visualizing what's going on, and it's multi-dimensional for the listener. You can interpret it in different ways and expand upon it using your imagination.

    What artists shaped you?

    For me, it's probably Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Sade, and Christina Aguilera. Those were the biggest ones growing up who are still influential to me now.

    You come out of the gate with an un-categorizable style.

    I love that. As an artist, you never want to be put in a box or limited to just doing one thing, especially if you're creating your own music. You want it to have the ability and the room to grow. I like to be able to draw inspiration from different genres and things like that.

    What's been inspiring you lately?

    Musically, I've been really into this band called Skintone. I'm really excited for all of the things I have in the works with all of these different producers. They're huge inspirations to me. They're amazing people. They definitely add to your creative process. It's fun to collaborate with people as an artistic person.

    Where did "2 On" come from?

    "2 On" is just supposed to be a fun record. I wanted to do something lighthearted that has a feel which makes you want to dance or be in the club. I wanted something that felt youthful and gave you that vibe. It's a celebration of having fun, going out, and living life to the fullest. Interestingly enough, Schoolboy Q and I are both the type of people who like to work separately. He likes to do his music alone, and I like to do mine alone. We both have super busy schedules anyway so it worked out because I do a lot of things in my own home studio. We were able to send things back and forth.

    How does it lead into the full-length album?

    I'm excited for the album to come out. It's almost finished. I've been working on it for almost a year, and I'm really excited about all the material. I can't wait to put it out there.

    Any surprises in store?

    A little bit...but it won't be too different from where I've been. I want to be true to who I am as an artist as well as being true to my fan base. There are unexpected elements. I do want to be able to evolve and grow. There's going to be some of that mixed in as well.

    If you were to compare the album to a movie or a combination of movies, what would you compare it to?

    That's a really good question! I'd have to think about it.

    What are some of your favorite films?

    I like Into the Wild. I like horror movies like the Saw flicks. I like such a random variety of movies. Then, I like romance movies—The Notebook and Titanic. I love Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained. There's such an eclectic range of music and movies that I'm into.

    What are you most looking forward to?

    I'm looking forward to the music video for "2 On" and the shows I have coming up as well as the album release. I can't wait.

    Rick Florino

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