Even though the music space is crammed, as ever, with multi-genre stars and burgeoning talents, Tinashe said in a recent interview that she believes there should be room enough for everyone.
“Recently, my cousin was with a friend of a friend, who was in high school, and she was like: ‘I’m a fan of Kehlani,’ but in a way that was like, ‘So I can’t be a fan of Tinashe, too,'” Tinashe said in an interview with the UK’s Guardian. “Then my friend posed the question, ‘Why not be a fan of both?’ It’s kind of like sport; people feel like they have to pick a side. 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.”
Tinashe, who was born to Zimbabwean-immigrant father Michael and Danish mother Aimie, added that part of the problem is that there is an inherent assumption that black female artists are all the same.
“Ciara’s an amazing artist, Beyoncé’s an amazing artist, Rihanna’s an amazing artist, and they’re all very different!” she said.
The singer, who is perhaps best known for her 2014 hit “2 On,” said that her own unique background, which made it difficult for her to fit in growing up, also makes it hard for her to find a foothold in the industry now.
“There’s colorism involved in the black community, which is very apparent,” she said. “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 … I am what I am.”
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While Tinashe’s much-anticipated follow-up to 2014’s Aquarius, Joyride, still does not have a release date – despite the buzzed-about recent single “Flame” – the songstress has been keeping busy via multiple collaborations with Tinie Tempah, KDA and Enrique Iglesias, among others