Tinashe has been all over the airwaves with her DJ Mustard-produced single “2 On” featuring ScHoolboy Q. But the L.A. singer’s success didn’t happen overnight. After getting her start in the girl group The Stunners and appearing in movies and TV shows including “Two and a Half Men,” she went on to release three mixtapes including last year’s Black Water.
Now the 21-year-old is readying her RCA Records debut Aquarius for release later this summer.
She has been in the studio with hitmakers including Mike WiLL Made It, Boi-1da, Dev Hynes, Clams Casino, and A$AP Rocky, who appears on the Detail-produced “Pretend.”
“The song with Rocky is definitely kind of a contemporary-sounding song,” she told Rap-Up TV. “It doesn’t really sound like a lot of other songs on the radio, but it’s a midtempo feel and it’s kinda minimalistic in the track.”
She also went to Atlanta to work with Future on the Jasper-produced “How Many Times.” “[Future] kept it straight ‘hood on this track, which I was super excited about,” said Tinashe. “I think it’s an interesting blend between an R&B vibe and there being some hip-hop thrown in there.”
Growing up, she listened to Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson, Sade, Keith Sweat, and Tony! Toni! Toné! “My parents played a lot of ’90s R&B in the house, so I think I was just naturally kind of influenced by that type of music.”
But she’s been drawing comparisons to one particular R&B singer. “I think being compared to Aaliyah is a huge compliment,” she said. “Interestingly enough, she wasn’t a person who I really idolized or was influenced by growing up, but I think it’s just cool that people find similarities and comparisons in our different styles.”