Tinashe‘s narrative has been one of the more puzzling among artists who’ve had buzz over the last few years.
Her inaugural set, ‘Aquarius,’ made quite the splash on Urban charts in mid-2014 thanks to its DJ Mustard-produced hit, ‘2 On.’ Yet, despite nabbing one of that summer’s biggest anthems, the ‘Joyride’ singer turned left and since then has seemingly had her eyes set on seeing her name scribbled on pop charts.
The pursuit – which has seen the ‘All Hands on Deck’ singer try her hand at everything from EDM to emo-pop and collaborate with the likes of some of music’s biggest names (see: Chris Brown, Britney Spears, and Nick Jonas) – has admittedly proven futile. As such, even though she’s 3 years in the game, many still consider her a “new” or “buzzing” artist.
Tinashe believes she has the answer to that: colorism and racism in the industry. Recently taking to The Guardian, she discussed what she believes is the industry’s take on black women:
“There are hundreds of [male] rappers that all look the same, that sound the same, but if you’re a black woman, you’re either Beyoncé or Rihanna. It’s very, very strange.
[There was Ciara, but] it felt like they almost had to sacrifice someone because there wasn’t enough room, which isn’t true. Ciara’s an amazing artist, Beyoncé’s an amazing artist, Rihanna’s an amazing artist, and they’re all very different!”
“There’s colourism involved in the black community, which is very apparent,” she says carefully. “It’s about trying to find a balance where I’m a mixed woman, and sometimes I feel like I don’t fully fit into the black community; they don’t fully accept me, even though I see myself as a black woman. That disconnect is confusing sometimes.”
Tinashe says all the separation and setbacks with her music have been discouraging, but have never completely broken her spirit.
“It’s definitely been discouraging, and I have days where I’m less confident, but at the end I know that I’m going to get to where I need to go.”
“There’s doubt that seeps in, there’s self-deprecation, because you look to someone to blame and you can’t blame anyone but yourself, but I’ve never, ever thought, ‘I’m going to work in a mall.’”
Has Tinashe’s success narrative been impacted by the black community ‘not accepting’ her?