Interview by: Shantel Noel
A few months ago, hustleGRL.com caught up with the rising star, who is Tinashe. Her debut album was still in the works and not much could be revealed at the time. She gained popularity when her single 2 On which features TDE rapper, Schoolboy Q. Later the single was picked up by an OVO affiliate OB O’Brien and a guest appearance from Drake. At the top of 2014, there was no predicting what had yet to come for her.
With a few days left in the New Year, Tinashe has a lot to celebrate. Her new album Aquarius has been well received amongst diverse audiences and continues to top charts worldwide. We sat down with Tinashe during her stop off her tour in Toronto. A single lineup curved around the Tattoo venue as fans impatiently waited to see the songstress.
hGRL.com: Hi Tinashe, how are you?
Tinashe: I’m good.
hGRL.com: The last time we spoke, it was over the phone and our call got disconnected a few times.
Tinashe: I may have been in my room at the time. I get service everywhere except for in my room.
hGRL.com: Well, I’m glad we finally got a chance to reconnect. A lot has changed in a very short period of time. In under a year, you have released your new album and topped just about every chart I’ve seen.
Tinashe: Yes, it has been a great year!
hGRL.com: What would you say 2014 has taught you about yourself?
Tinashe: I think it has really taught me to trust my instincts and when you trust your instinct things work in your favor. You know…not worrying about things and letting them happen when they are supposed to. In the end things usually work itself out.
hGRL.com: What has the music industry taught you thus far?
Tinashe: I think it’s kind of the same thing in a way. It has taught me to trust the timing and accept that things will work out when they are supposed to. You can’t force something that isn’t ready.
hGRL.com: Did you ever have your moments of doubt?
Tinashe: I think more moments of frustration not so much doubt. I don’t have a Plan B. I always knew that no matter what, somehow things would work out for me.
hGRL.com: For me personally, I have a hard time picking my favourite song on the album Aquarius.
Tinashe: Awww thanks!
hGRL.com: What is your favourite song on the album and what is the inspiration behind it?
Tinashe: My favourite song changes all the time. I love the album and the songs are very special to me. One of my favourites is probably Cold Sweat. Its pretty personal. I wrote it in my room and it was something that felt very natural and easy for me.
hGRL.com: Do you have any New Year Resolutions? Any bad habits you want to break out of?
Tinashe: Any bad habits? [Pauses] I think I’d like to be more healthy on the road. It’s really hard to balance the two.
hGRL.com: What are some of your career goals? Is there a particular venue you’d like to perform at?
Tinashe: I’d love to headline the Staples Center. It’s where I saw my first concert.
hGRL.com: Which concert was that?
Tinashe: Christina Aguilera. I think it would be amazing to play there.
hGRL.com: What has been the highlight of your career?
Tinashe: There have been several highlights along the way. Being able to perform over seas to an audience that is familiar with your music despite the distance has been one of them.
hGRL.com: What about OVO Fest?
Tinashe: OVO Fest was a lot of fun!
hGRL.com: What’s the worst pronunciation of your name that you’ve heard? I’ve heard several people call you Tenisha.
Tinashe: Yeah. Omgsh! I hate that one. One guy called me Ton-ish. I was like huh?
hGRL.com: Were there any discussions about using another name between yourself and your label?
Tinashe: No, no one has ever brought it up to me. I am lucky that my parents gave me a name that was unique. Some people feel that its a setup to give your kids names like that but I’ve always embraced it. It has always made me feel special. There were no other Tinashes growing up.
hGRL.com: I know in a lot of your interviews you cite your parents as being your role models. Is there any piece of advice they’ve given you since your career has taken off?
Tinashe: No, not really. They just continue to be positive and encouraging. They always tell me that they are proud of me. To me that means a lot.
hGRL.com: If you are ever having a rough day, who do you call? Mom or Dad?
Tinashe: Probably Mom.
hGRL.com: Lastly, what was the hardest part about putting together an album?
Tinashe: It was a challenge to get people to respect me as a new artist and understand that I was a very creative person behind the music.