When it comes to the music industry, artists are known to have ups and downs within their career. Being labelled as ‘flops’ on twitter by the “stans” (super fans). Artists such as Lady Gaga and Katy Perry have all seen these fatal stages in their career with the release of the dreaded fourth album, cursed to end all careers. But none have felt it more than Tinashe.
The r&b/soul artist is know for her creative mixtapes, impeccable dance moves and singing talents. However, her record company (RCA) have consistently underestimated her talents since the day she was signed. From one failed single to the next, up to her most recent cancelled project inspired from her alter-ego ‘Nashe’, the singer always seems to find a way to bounce back. Quite literally.
With the sales from the latest album ‘Joyride’ reaching just above 50k within the first week and the breakdown of her long term relationship with Australian NBA star Ben Simmons it appears; Tinashe has had enough. Looking to go back to her mixtape roots the singer released ‘Like I Used Too’ just months after the album.
Showing her commitment to the personal projects in her life and not the ones her record company thinks she should release. Take ‘Flame’ for instance, the supposed lead single for ‘Joyride’. Tinashe herself, has taken to Twitter and said countless times within interviews that she did not like the song and would therefore not promote it. Leaving it until the night before to post anything on social media about the release. Some fans even felt that this was not the best attitude to have towards her career, but when the artist has shown what she can do in her hit singles ‘2 On’ and ‘All Hands on Deck’, this lead single always seemed like it was made for her to flop.
Travelling back to her unsigned days. The singer released a handful of mixtapes made for entertainment that she enjoyed listening to herself. In her debut mixtape ‘In Case We Die’ Tinashe took on the role of executive producer, whilst enlisted a variety of musical producers such as B. Hendrixx, Wes Tarte, K-BeatZ, Yung Shaq (PianoBoy, J. Mixx) and Myles Morgan. The project showed the singers move from pop heavy tracks to a contemporary and hip-hop sound which is suited much better to her vocal flows.
‘Reverie’ uses the same alternative hip-hop sounds along with several new genres such as electronica, glitch-hop, indie pop, post-dubstep and alternative rock. Which she is more recognisably known for from her more recent projects. Promoting the project through a series of singles. ‘Black Water’ releases the same year after took the same approach and showed the vulnerability of the singers voice and life.
However despite the success of past singles, mixtapes and projects. RCA wants her to fail. With minimal effort to promote her music and talents.
The issue is that Tinashe is a ‘Mixtape Artist’. She has developed the ability to create a piece of art throughout her music by using interludes and carefully selected samples and sounds. These have all been used within her official albums and mixtapes and help to guide the listener through a journey of the singers emotions that can be used to manipulate thoughts and feelings into the listeners mind. It seems however, that despite this working in her past projects, ‘Joyride’ failed to reach the potential it had. With low flying singles and again, the poor promotion. It was a smack in the face for the talented singer, especially since ‘Nightride’ the lead up to the album, was so critically acclaimed and liked by the fans.
If her record label allowed Tinashe the freedom to actually release work that she was passionate about then maybe her work would flop less. If her work actually reflected what she found important and wanted to promote then maybe she would achieve the charts she deserves. Her lastest string of singles from the rumoured project ‘Nashe’ has already been cancelled before its confirmation. This was a project Tinashe enjoyed and her fans could tell through the promotion she posted online.
Despite this, we should all be grateful for Tinashe. She can sing, she can dance and she can create beautiful works of art.
Stream ‘Throw a Fit’ and ‘Joyride’ online and decide for yourself how the artists attitude and personality changes.
Words: Jake Frain