Tinashe‘s 2014 summer anthem, ‘2 On,’ came as a signal the southern beauty had finally arrived on the music scene. Sliding right to the top 30 on the Billboard Hot 100 (where it peaked at #24), the tune – alongside the host of other gems making a splash on her debut album ‘Aquarius’ – was building some serious buzz for the-then stageblazing newcomer who was hearing her name in mention amongst “those to watch” for the following year.
As anticipation built for her sophomore set, T shocked fans with the announcement her album – reportedly helmed by serial hitmaking producers Max Martin, Dr. Luke, and other well-known pop producers – would sonically abandon the very Urban Pop approach that made her inaugural release buzzworthy.
After months of teasing, delays, stops, and restarts, Tinashe cranked up fan excitement by unveiling the project’s title, ‘Joyride’, and gave them their first taste of its content, the Chris Brown-assisted ‘Player’…
Clearly bred and birthed for radio, the catchy pop tune was already a sizzler by its lonesome, but by the time its dance heavy, Brown-assisted video was released the singer’s fans were in a frenzy. Opening to a commendable 24,000 first week sales, the song managed a debut right outside of the Hot 100. Little did we know at that time, that’s where ‘Player’s joyride on charts would start and stop.
Poor response on radio and streaming formats saw DJs and fans alike avoiding the ‘play button’ for ‘Player’ – a matter assisted by the lack of televised promotional appearances in its support. Then, after a highly publicized feud with her co-star that all but encouraged a live duet performance of the track, Tinashe abandoned the Brown single and started seeing red – as evidenced by her colorful video for ‘Joyride’s second release, ‘Superlove.’
Mixed with the same radio friendly formula as its predecessor, ‘Superlove’ – a fun summer single armed with a killer choreographed video – saw T, yet again, relying on her megawatt smile and an even more eye-catching video to win over new fans and rescue her ‘Joyride’ era from completely derailing. Sadly, yet again, the moves proved futile.
Dropped on the same day reigning pop princesses Katy Perry and Britney Spears unleashed their long-awaited new singles, ‘Rise’ and ‘Make Me’ respectively, ‘Superlove’ didn’t exactly get its namesake from listeners. Lost in the fray of the Perry vs. Spears chart battle, ‘Super’ failed to make a super mark on charts, radio, or any streaming format and currently sits at 11M Youtube views nearly 4 months after it was released (a far cry from the 128M ‘2 On’ boasts).
So, what’s the problem?
Did T’s failure to quickly follow-up ‘2 On’ with a song of similar sonic structure impact her hold on listeners? Or, did she have the right cards with ‘Player’ and ‘Superlove,’ but lost the game with her lack of promotion? In other words, tell us: