She Was Born To Make Music


A while back I was talking with a friend about musical prodigies. As our discussion progressed we both agreed that there seems to be a certain point where someone identifies the existence of extraordinary talent. In the past, the steps taken after the identification of special musical abilities were formulaic. A talent scout would make the discovery and then introduced a record company. The recording company executives would assign a team of professionals to prepare the young, budding star for life in the spotlight. Many times, even though early success was found, eventually the young star would “crash”, sometimes tragically.

Our day is different for the talented young artist. I have had the opportunity to feature quite a few who have been able to live a normal, school life while nurturing their craft. This normalcy has provided us with several young stars who seem better equipped to handle the pressures of life on the stage. Possibly contributing to their stability could be the fact that the musicians and their families have more control over career decisions. Certainly, many of the new artists have much more artistic control than their predecessors. I recalled this conversation after deciding to feature young singer, songwriter, producer, actress and model Tinashe.

I first learned of Tinashe just before she released her hit single “2 On”. The song peaked at number twenty-four on the Billboard 100 chart. The video of the song followed to reveal a young, very talented vocalist who appeared on the cusp of stardom. At that time I started to prepare to feature Tinashe, but other obligations made it impossible to publish the post. In fact, you are reading the third time I planned to feature the young artist. The best thing about the attempted (but missed) posts is that Tinashe continued to work and gained notoriety. The young entertainer is a relentless performer, and has worked extremely hard since the release of her debut album Aquarius. If you have not heard any of Tinashe’s music, allow me to introduce her to you.

Tinashe Jorgenson Kachingwe, known professionally as just Tinashe was born February 6, 1993. She began her entertainment career at the age of 3 when she began modeling and acting. She made her acting debut in the television film “Cora Unashamed” in 2000. In 2004, Tinashe appeared in box-office hit “The Polar Express” alongside actor Tom Hanks, providing the motion capture for the female protagonist. From 2008 to 2009, Tinashe had a recurring role in American sitcom Two and a Half Men as Celeste, Jake’s girlfriend.

It is the music part of her entertainment career that is now on the rise. It all started in 2007, Tinashe joined girl group The Stunners. Six months after their formation, the group signed with Columbia Records and in 2009, the group left Columbia Records and signed a production deal with Lionsgate Entertainment, who also produced a scripted television show pilot based on the group for MTV. The music video for their promo single, “We Got It”, was released on February 22, 2010. The group performed the song “We Got It” on The Today Show, as well as The Wendy Williams Show. After meeting with various labels, they signed a deal to Universal Republic Records in 2010. They released a single, “Dancin’ Around the Truth” on iTunes, as well as Top 40 radio stations. After a short, but successful run the group disbanded in 2011. That is when Tinashe started her solo career.

Interestingly, In Case We Die, Tinashe’s debut solo mixtape, was released in February 2012, recorded in her home studio. She had total control of her music and the releases to iTunes and streaming to her official website. The young musician even had a hand in directing the videos to promote her music. Of course today just about all videos and music are made available via social media. When the public heard Tinashe’s music, they responded favorably. On July 13, 2012, Tinashe announced that she had signed with RCA Records. However, that did not stop the music. Following the signing, her second mixtape, Reverie, was released on September 6, 2012 through her official website. On November 26, 2013, Tinashe released her third mixtape, Black Water. Then, on October 3, 2014 Tinashe released her debut album Aquarius which debuted at number 17 on Billboard 200.

Of course from her start with The Stunners until the release of Aquarius, seven years had passed. That brought Tinashe from young teenager to adult. There would be obvious changes in her music that reflected her changes in life. Speaking about the theme of the album, Tinashe said: “It combines the essence of all my previous work. I’ve stayed true to who I am. Obviously, there’s some progression as I’ve grown as an artist, and I’m influenced by new things and what not. I think my fans will be really happy with it. I think it really embodies who I am and where I am creatively right now”. As I listened to the entire album, I definitely could here an adult sound and theme. Tinashe was able to successfully exhibit her growth both physically and emotionally.

I viewed a couple of recent interviews with Tinashe, and she comfortably expressed where she is and her overall music goals. Even though she still lives at home with her parents, it has not stopped her from growing right along with her music career. Success has not put a dent in her personality. Tinashe is a delight in her interviews and appears like the cliché “girl next door”. She is still working extremely hard, and planning her follow up album to be released early 2016. Her career has progressed naturally, as if she were born to make music.

* photo by Michael Schwartz

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