Tinashe is getting candid about the race and genre politics she feels are rife in the music industry.
Full story below…
Responding to an insightful Rolling Stone piece centered around the erasure of the term “urban” by record labels (in the wake of the current race debate), the singer expressed her agreement with the writer’s sentiment that the term “pop” needs to be scrapped too. For, it also – it’s argued – is rooted in problematic ideology.
And she drew on her own experiences on a major label to illustrate her point:
“As a black woman I fought HARD AF , for years, to be considered “pop” by my label without changing my sound because of the inevitable ceiling I felt was put on the urban and rhythmic departments…. then the pop department didn’t find my music acceptable so I molded it for them & in an attempt to make my sound more pop department friendly, the public rejected it, I lost my spirit/ inspiration as a creative, &had to part ways with the label entirely.
Luckily I’ve thrived as an independent artist, but I know first hand how insidious & traumatizing this is.
This article is spot on— I’ve been saying it for YEARS. The music industry is designed to segregate and that needs to end.”
To an extent, this explains the air of “all over the place” that defined Tinashe’s material during her major label run.
One moment turn-up queen with bops such as ‘2 On’ and ‘All Hands On Deck.’ Then came the stripped-back edgy of ‘Party Favors,’ only to take a sharp left down Pop Avenue with sugar-coated cuts such as ‘Super Love’ and Britney Spears collab ‘Slumber Party.’ All only to then return back to the fiery feisty of ‘No Drama.’
The entire time she billed it as “not wanting to be boxed.”
But, as has been proven time in and time out, it’s always advantageous for an act to establish a core sound and artistic identity — then grow from there.
That never seemed to be the case with Tinashe and now we have insights as to why.
Now that she’s on her indie journey and delivering solid results out of the gate, it’ll be interesting to see (and hear) where she drives her music on her own accord.