Tinashe: The Public “Rejected” My Pop Music

Published: Friday 19th Jun 2020 by Sam

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.

Your thoughts?

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  1. Bardi+#1 June 19, 2020

    She didn’t lie

    • Doja minaje thee stallion June 20, 2020

      Come on girl ! Lizzo made it and she fought like crazy. Tinashe doesn’t have a narrative just like jojo, Lauren from fifth h… it is segregation when you reject a talented black artist, but it’s not segregation to prefer pop music or simply charismatic artists.

  2. Only Facts June 19, 2020

    Maybe she should go back to be a member of a girl group. Does anyone else remember when she was in a group called “the stunners”


  3. XYZ June 19, 2020

    Girl, your pop music wasn’t good and did not feel genuine. The people knew you for more artistic and moodier rnb sounds and that was what they wanted. And you haven’t brought something special or a hit to the table, so it’s not about race, your Material wasn’t it and you had no lane. Player was slept on though

    • Hmmm… June 19, 2020

      Exactly. She didn’t “fight” at all. If anything, she did the exact opposite. What happened was, she was too busy chasing another audience (wypipo) that she forgot about the one she already had, and once she flopped and tried to come back to them, they were long gone. It was clear that she was following the formula and chasing the charts. Her fans told her many times what they wanted to hear and she refused and said they were “putting her in a box”. Listen to your audience. Be consistent, conquer one category, and then you can do whatever you want. She has no one to blame but herself.

      • Keith June 19, 2020

        @Hmmm: As much as I will always root for Tinashe, I must say I agree with your assessment. I didn’t think about industry machinations but I felt something was off with the label releases. Her mixtapes and EP’s were so dope, but hopefully now she can go back to making music that feels genuine to who she is…

  4. Dombalo Gombalo June 19, 2020

    Oh wow!!!! SPEAK UP Tinashe! This is the mother effin truth. Finally a girl in RnB music who knows how to speak well and say it out loud. I co-sign this 100%. I’m not an RnB girl but I listen to my rnb girls and I can just FEEL when they’re watering down their sound to get more radio play or be more pop for the label to take them more serious. NO MORE OF THAT. We need hard ass beats! And bitchez be sangin!

  5. Clarks0o0ñ June 19, 2020

    My god, shes so fùckking annoying
    Gurl, ur music was shìt

    U made britney spears flop.

    Black people hyped u up every time u appeared on 106 and park, but they let u flop cause ur music is trash.
    Reminds me of normani

    • Doja June 20, 2020

      Wasn’t nobody hyping her up but her 5 fans. Tinashe is a one hit wonder from 6 yrs ago. Nothing more nothing less ugly.

  6. Clarks0o0ñ June 19, 2020

    Victimize urself all u want
    Play the victim all u want
    Beg for sympathy and pity all u want
    But if ur music is not good, u will flop, HARD.

    U cant force people to stream or buy rubbish music.

  7. Quanie June 19, 2020

    Her pop music was whack! She knows this she said it before tHat her label made her record that music. Her first album Was lit it straight up slapped and she knows this. Then she turned into something that she wasn’t.

  8. Tori June 19, 2020

    Sweetie…in the words of Anita Baker, its been you all the time. The only acceptable song you sent to pop radio was “Player” and instead of pushing the solo version, your label pushed the remix with Chris Brown to add fire to the smoke. But sadly, he’s ruined his own radio play with too many songs out at one time. Then you went straight Caucasian with “Flame” and showed your nothing more than a refurbished Ciara with “Superlove”. You can’t blame the label if your music is not popping but claim you write majority of your music, its you. The label didn’t want to go in the pop route because you barely click in you main genre and when the tried to send you to pop, you failed. Granted, RCA is b*******, this was all you. And for some reason, you apparently aren’t likable to the GP. Thats what people have been saying for years but I never paid attention before or after “Player” so 🤷🏾‍♂️.

  9. Steve June 19, 2020

    Love Tinashe! She is my 2nd most listened to artist. Songs for you is absolutely amazing!

    • Fancy BISH June 19, 2020

      Sis you need to change the battery in your hearing aid.

      • You’ll Gag June 20, 2020

        Songs For You and Aquarius as are both great albums

  10. NextB June 20, 2020

    She said before that she didn’t want to fit in mold, now you wanna be aKA a pop star? Okay.

  11. Meme June 20, 2020


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