Tinashe goes big on her first major headlining tour, as the world awaits her second album “Joyride.”
CHICAGO — Tinashe is nothing if not a hard worker. Unlike her peers, she is unafraid of explicitly stating her artistic goals and ambition. She sees great things for herself, namely a breakout album, “Joyride,” her second, expected later this year.
Success, however, is not easy for her to define.
“I don’t necessarily know what that means,” she explained recently in the back of House of Blues in Chicago, “whether it be like it sells a certain number of copies, I don’t necessarily feel like that. It’s more so that my fans appreciate it, and that it means something to people and people find it special.”
More immediately, Tinashe is most concerned with a tour that is her most ambitious to date.
“The Joyride Tour,” which began in Minneapolis last month, is just the latest instance in which the LA artist is flexing her muscles as a creator and performer. Although she has toured extensively with other acts (most recently with Nicki Minaj throughout Latin America), Tinashe has not been given free reign to craft a full-length live show of this size in which she is front and center. “There’s new dancers, a new crew, new team,” she said. “Everything is just another level that we added onto the show, as far as the production value.”
The collaboration process, it takes some getting used to. And different people work differently, and that’s probably the biggest learning experience of the whole thing — who you work well with, who you gel with.
Tinashe first gained recognition in the music scene through her self-produced and self-released mixtapes. Combining elements of minimalist and avant-garde R&B production with trippy post-dubstep beats, early mixtapes like “In Case We Die” and “Reverie” were thought experiments that demonstrated the limitless ambitions and creativity of Tinashe.
Now she is hard at work completing her sophomore album, which will include a battery of high profile producers and collaborators, including Diplo, Skrillex and pop mastermind Max Martin. It has the potential to connect Tinashe to even more audiences by coupling the sounds of producers who deeply understand contemporary music trends with the artist’s graceful touch, which makes nearly everything she releases sound both fun yet meticulous.
The collaboration wasn’t the easiest transition for a performer who first established a public presence as a solo artist through her own production efforts. “The collaboration process, it takes some getting used to,” she admitted. “And different people work differently, and that’s probably the biggest learning experience of the whole thing — who you work well with, who you gel with.”
I think that’s one thing that I just try to inspire [in] people: to go after your dreams, make things happen for themselves, not just wait around for people to do something for you.
Still, if the process has taught her anything, it is to trust her instincts as a creator. Rather than question her ideas and vision, Tinashe says she feels more secure, as an artist. “I think the biggest thing that I’ve learned just from working with other people, in general,” she said, “and continue to keep that perspective throughout the collaboration process.
The album’s first single, “Player” was released last October and features sprightly synths matched with warm R&B vocals. As a transitional track between Tinashe’s emerging R&B and mainstream pop, it shines. Perfect both for dance floors and for easy listening at home, “Player” is the natural evolution of Tinashe’s creative efforts. (It is one of seven songs slated to be included on her new album that she’s performing on tour.)
“Joyride” is also an album that reflects the evolution of her career and her artistry. She began self-releasing music as a teenager. Now, as a young woman in her early 20s, she has gained a clearer grasp on who she is as a performer. “You change in many ways,” she offered. “I feel like my music is a reflection of that evolution. It’s growth, but at the same time it still comes from the same place and who I’ve always been and what I’ve always been about.”
She says that she hopes that same feeling comes across through the album, too. “I think that’s one thing that I just try to inspire [in] people: to go after your dreams, make things happen for themselves, not just wait around for people to do something for you,” she said. “That’s really kind of I feel like the underlying moral of the story, if you will, of my album.”
(Source: Red Bull)