Updated: Oct 18, 2021
The music industry is a very fickle and manipulative sector.
It seems like, now more than ever, that you need to be independent to have control and autonomy over your career.
That is Tinashe’s story. Tinashe is a R&B-pop artist. She is most known for her hit single, “2 On,” which she released in 2014. This was after she signed to RCA Records in 2012. I was excited to see more from her after this. She was dancing, singing, all the things. The things we loved about Paula Abdul, Janet Jackson and Ciara is exactly what Tinashe was showcasing. And, for some reason, it didn’t work for her. After “2 On,” she wasn’t being talked about as much as her peers. ShadeRoom, BET Awards, nowhere. And, now she’s back. She released “333,” her fifth studio album, on August 6, 2021. Tinashe has been interviewed by billboard, Complex, and Elle. Since 2014, we haven’t heard much from the pop singer. And now, everyone wants to know her story. To be honest, to see a young, skinny, light-skinned girl not win in the music industry is surprising. This is one of the few times light-skinned privilege did not work for a woman who looks like Tinashe. So, what happened? The mystery of Tinashe is all anyone can talk about. Tinashe talked with The Red Bulletin by Red Bull. She stated that one of the reasons she left RCA Records was because she saw that “the way the system is set up” was starting to affect her self-confidence. The criticism got the best of her, so she decided to make a change in her career. Go independent.
Since the stardom of Chance The Rapper, going independent seems like a trend that a lot of musicians choose. Lit is the only way to bring your true vision to life. Many artists choose this route because record labels only work for people who work for them. A big company taking a chunk of your earnings, it isn’t a big deal if you make Lil Uzi Vert money. Companies trust you to make a lot of traction, create a lot of buzz. But, if you are an up and coming artist like Tinashe was in 2012, it’s not as profitable. When the label is in control of how one is marketed, it can lead to the artist being unsatisfied, and underrepresented.
I said earlier that I was surprised that certain systems didn’t work for Tinashe. It looked as if she was on the rise back in 2014. She had a song with Chris Brown, which, in terms of R&B-pop music, is an ultimate cosign.
However, her beef with the problematic king himself may have derailed that.
Tinashe criticized Chris Brown’s hurtful comments against Kehlani’s suicide attempt in 2016.
In true Chris Brown fashion, he insulted Tinashe and that was that.
And when Black women get bashed in the public, it is an uphill battle to get back in society's good graces.
Ask Keri Hilson.
So, mix that with feelings of self-doubt, it is easy to understand Tinashe’s disappearance from the spotlight.
The angel numbers 333 signify alignment, so it makes sense to name her album “333” at this stage of her career. She has a whole new team, people who wholeheartedly believe in her vision. She has new inspirations, new mindsets.
She told The Red Bulletin that she’s had to learn how to set new boundaries, and put herself first. “Giving my life that structure was really important while creating this new album.”
I want Tinashe to win. And because she is independent, her fans need to be behind her. And seeing that she puts out quality music, quality visuals, she deserves the attention she’s getting.