Sounds Like: Kicking it with the homies, and then journaling about it afterwards
For Fans Of: Ciara, Jhené Aiko, Solange
Why You Should Pay Attention: The 21-year-old Tinashe is part of an Internet-savvy generation whose creativity eludes classification. She trained as a dancer and a child actress, appearing in movies like The Polar Express and Akeelah and the Bee. She performed in the Stunners, a teen-pop quintet that toured with Justin Bieber. When the Stunners broke up, she built a production studio and garlanded mixtapes with gauzy production and lovelorn, introspective lyrics. This year she dropped her breakthrough single, "2 On," which cracked the Top 40 of the pop charts. Produced by DJ Mustard, "2 On" is redolent of mainstream R&B in 2014, with Mustard's signature West Coast beats and Tinashe's lyrics of getting faded with her clique "when the drink be way too strong." Tinashe plans to incorporate all her "colors," from the urban pop of "2 On" to her indie R&B projects, on her September debut Aquarius. Collaborators range from blog darlings Ryan Hemsworth, Clams Casino and Dev Hynes to rap heavyweights Future, Schoolboy Q and A$AP Rocky. "I never want to be stuck in a box," she says.
She Says: "When I was 18, I took it upon myself to create a home studio. I bought a bunch of equipment, a camera and microphones. That was when I started teaching myself how to record and mix my own stuff. I wrote and recorded it all there in my room. I used ProTools I started filming my own music videos and editing those as well, and then putting them online. I used Pro Tools. I edit my videos in Final Cut Pro. I produce beats with Logic." Who taught her to do all this stuff? "YouTube!" she answers.
Hear For Yourself: Watch the antics that ensue when Tinashe gets "2 On," including Beyoncé-worthy dance routines By Mosi Reeves