Tinashe, an artist who deserves to be heard and seen


Runner Nights flier from CSUB Campus Programming.

Yasmin Marcelo, Freelancer

Tinashe Jorgensen Kachingwe, more commonly known as Tinashe, is a multitalented artist across various media. She is a singer-songwriter, record producer, actress, and trained dancer. Her genres include alternative R&B, pop, and hip hop. She also has over 6.7 million listeners on Spotify and 1.9 million subscribers on YouTube.

On Wednesday, May 4, Campus Programming announced that Tinashe is the artist who will be holding a concert at the Icardo Center for CSUB’s Runner Nights. The concert is scheduled for Thursday, May 19, at 8:30 p.m.

Tinashe has shown a lot of promise as a young artist early on in her career, even going as far as to be compared to Beyonce by both MTV News and ELLE Magazine in 2014. As a multi-faceted woman, she showcased her music production skills on her YouTube channel, competed in Dancing with the Stars in 2018, and played the role of Mimi Marquez in Rent: Live.

The multi-platinum-certified musician’s appeal has transcended cultural boundaries. K-pop artists Jay Park and J-Hope have expressed their admiration for her. ALiEN Dance Studio from South Korea also released a choreography video on YouTube of Tinashe’s song “2 on” in 2016, and the video has now garnered 26 million views. In the same year, she and South Korean rapper Chanyeol were featured in a song together. Additionally, Korean diva Hyolyn’s music video for “Dally” drew heavy comparisons with Tinashe’s style.

Despite her fame and the large fanbase she now has, the journey was not always smooth sailing for Tinashe. In 2019, her manager, Mike Nazzaro, announced that the singer has parted ways with RCA records after seven years because of creative differences and has become an independent artist.

On her Twitter, Tinashe has expressed the numerous issues that came up between her and her former record label. On July 18, 2019, she disclosed that she made a video for her single, “Ooh La La,” from her 2018 album, “Joyride”; however, it never got to see the light of day. “I was advised against because I had just dropped ‘throw a fit,’” she tweeted.

The singer also wanted a different cover art for her debut album, but RCA had a different idea in mind. Feeling a lack of creative freedom, Tinashe tweeted on Nov. 15, 2019, “I remember being in London sitting in the car crying ‘cuz I had to change it.”

In the podcast “Women of the Hour,” Tinashe shares her experience with being pressured into recording a song she did not resonate with. “I didn’t mean to be difficult or waste anyone’s time, but I couldn’t, as an artist, get behind the lyrics,” she details. Upon expressing her discomfort to her label rep., she explains, “He turned to me and said, ‘Well, then we can just go home.’ At this point, I burst into tears.”

Furthermore, in the podcast, she questions whether she would have been dealt with the same treatment had she been a man. She mentions feeling like she had won a “beauty contest or a popularity contest” instead of receiving proper respect as an artist.

Now, Tinashe can exercise full creative control as an independent artist, and the year 2021 marked several firsts for her in this new chapter. On Nov. 19, her album “Songs for You” became the first one she released since taking her leave from RCA Records. In the same year, her 333 tour was also the first one she did independently.

CSUB students should take the opportunity to show their support for a wonderful artist such as Tinashe. Not only is she a skilled singer, dancer, actress, and music producer, she is a great performer as well who knows how to work the stage and captivate a live audience. To those who were unfamiliar with her before, now is a great time to become acquainted with her art given that she is now able to express herself more truthfully and organically through her craft.