Since setting sail as an independent artist last year, Tinashe has not only been releasing more music, she’s also been speaking up about her rocky tenure in the major label system.
In a new interview, she continues along said trajectory and elaborates on the hurdles she experienced trying to navigate an infrastructure that had a very different set of rules (and budgets) for music deemed Urban and music labeled Pop.
Now, in the wake of several labels committing to eradicate the term “Urban,” the singer is proposing a more holistic solution: bulldoze the idea of genres altogether.
Full story below…
Speaking to Rolling Stone, the singer said:
“We need to abolish genres in general. I think that the way that many of them came to be and have continued to progress is very much so based on race and the segregation of music based on race. By putting artists either in an urban category or an R&B category or rap category, a hip-hop — these really general umbrellas that we use to define different genres — it creates a huge sense of isolation for the creative when they’re trying to experiment, especially for creatives that don’t necessarily feel like they fall into one of the genres, which was my experience.”
She continued, illustrating – in detail – her own experience:
“When I first came on the scene, I felt a real aversion to being labeled as like a new R&B girl. Not because I didn’t love R&B, but because I could see, especially within my own label, how different the team operated that was marketing [and] pushing the urban department at the company, and how it was not the same department that was pushing the pop acts. Those were the stages I wanted. That was the radio station I wanted.
It really didn’t make sense to me when I felt like I would put myself into a genre that had a feeling, and felt limited in terms of budget. Or they were literally on a different floor of the building and didn’t communicate with each other. It was never like, we’ll work together to promote a song or an artist. It was this team or that team. That’s really dangerous for somebody who kind of falls in between in the middle, like me, for example. And I’m sure so many other artists. Like, I was lucky that they at least tried and, you know, attempted to make it work. But it was really deep-rooted, how the companies are set up to operate almost separately, independently of one another. It’s really not there for artists who use labels like just it doesn’t fit perfectly.”
Do you agree with Nashe?