There were a shitload of great singles that dropped in 2014, but we’ve got to give the gold medal to Tinashe for her breakthrough joint ‘2 On‘. It’s silky, sultry R&B that has a segment inspired by Sean Paul – need we say more?
Tinashe continued her hot streak with the impressive depth she showed on debut album Aquarius, revealing her soulful reinterpretation of classic R&B and a handful of bangers to boot. This is the sort of music that makes you want a clique of back-up dancers wearing full Adidas tracksuits. To put it more eloquently, Tinashe’s record is pure flames.
We spent a day with Tinashe in Sydney on her recent Australian tour. Here’s how it went down:
We kick off our day at Sony Headquarters in Darlinghurst, a lovely space filled with Jessica Mauboy posters and giant television screens. With so much on-point interior decoration, I would sleep here if I could. We meet Tinashe for an interview and I immediately put my serious journalism face on, proceeding to ask her all the hard-hitting questions like “Do you think Sean Paul’s cornrows influenced how good his music output was?”
“Yeah! I’m sure it has an effect, it’s close to your brain – it effects your thinking, your songwriting, all sorts of stuff. You’re going to start doing crazy shit. I just dyed my hair black, and now I have a whole new persona,” she replies. Tinashe was also cool enough to put up an Instagram video of our interview online, you can watch me asking more journalistic questions here. #TINASHETHEROCKETSCIENTIST
Shortly after, we head down the road to Toko on Crown Street, which is great because I walk past this restaurant everyday but I am way too poor to eat there. When Tinashe’s in town, we decide to indulge in a little sashimi at 11:30 in the morning, because we are definitely about that lavish lifestyle. I even ironed my shirt for the occasion. Brunch sashimi? Ditch your Fruit Loops and get on this level.
Hungry eyes. This is the exact same face I made when the lamb chops hit the table. Shoutout to Toko for their succulent lamb chops, we definitely recommend eating at least seven of these and cleansing your palette with a refreshing glass of straight bourbon.
As the only Asian person on the table, I feel culturally obligated to use chopsticks while telepathically asking the waiter for a goddamn fork. For some reason, I tell Tinashe that my favourite rappers are Young Thug and Fat Joe. I’m still not sure as to why so many people think is funny – if you haven’t blasted Fat Joe’s ‘John Blaze‘ on a stoop while wearing Adidas slides and a du-rag, you haven’t lived. Very engaging mealtime conversation.
The key to remaining sane when you’re spending a day with fuckwits like us? Start downing wines at midday.
Whole squad rolling down Crown Street.
Happy face. A windswept Tinashe wears the Chanel chain she just got from her mother for her 22nd birthday. Tinashe is one of the lucky ones – I was gifted a pair of socks for my 22nd birthday, and consoled myself by getting hammered at a backpacker’s bar with no dress code and stained carpet.
Tinashe is taking us to sass city with this stance.
Eventually, we end up on a plush sofa at FBi Radio, waiting for a chat with Shantan Wantan Ichiban – the radio host with the coolest (and longest) name in Australia or maybe the entire fucking planet. Shoutout to FBi Radio for playing music that doesn’t stink, because one time I tuned into 94.5FM and they were playing ‘Free Gucci’ which made me immediately take my shirt off and purchase an illegal weapon.
Tinashe jumps into the studio to talk about a bunch of stuff including ‘Drop That Kitty‘ – her collaboration with fellow Californian, Ty Dolla $ign and fellow queen, Charli XCX. This track is pure unadulterated flames, and has already received a huge co-sign from DJ Leon Smith – who drops it at least 17 times each night at Bada Bing Nightspot. We’re not complaining.
Shantan may have one-upped me in the interview department, because he has a segment of Kardashian trivia. Tinashe definitely has a doctorate in Rob Kardashian getting the boot from Kimye’s wedding. The prize? This chocolate cake from IGA Supermarket! Respect to IGA for their convenient opening hours and competitive prices. They currently have a special on Australian premium beef mince, go check that shit out and make yourself a burrito.
FBi Radio crew stuntin’ with Tinashe, just outside where all the magic happens. Shantan in beast mode, donning the leopard print button-up after savaging the journalism game with his interview. Catch him on ‘Sunset with Stolen Records’ every Wednesday from 6:00pm, he drops a lot of Rae Sremmurd, Nicki Minaj and other ass-shaking masterpieces.
“I worked really hard on it. This is an album, I want it to be a solid piece of work. I don’t want it to be five songs, or six songs. If you listen to it, I want you to listen to it for 50 minutes. I want it to be an experience – that was really important for me,” Tinashe says when speaking on her debut Aquarius.
We take a short drive to Pyrmont to watch Tinashe’s private gig for Nova Red Room – transforming their offices into a makeshift venue for the afternoon. The space definitely lives up to its name – all the walls are bright red, and I’m thinking that this might be once occasion where I can wear sunglasses indoors and not feel like a massive weirdo.
Tinashe and the accompanying squad with the gangster lean during soundcheck.
Showtime! There are only about seven people in the world who can pull off this outfit. Tinashe is one of the chosen few, hand-picked by the swag gods themselves. This office is about to get super turnt up. They are serving stir-fry noodles on the dancefloor for some reason.
Tinashe jumps onstage for the intimate crowd, smashing through three singles from Aquarius – ‘All Hands On Deck’, ‘Pretend’ and ’2 On’ are the bangers in question, and the crowd laps it up.
Both her voice and dance choreography are executed to perfection – the fact that she does both at the same time makes it an engaging, high-energy affair. How do people multi-task like this? I struggle to eat a burger and watch Futurama at the same time.
And that’s a wrap! Cheers to Tinashe for her time and patience – we can’t wait for her to come back.