Tinashe knows how to work the system. The 23-year-old R&B rising star leaked her own track, “Party Favors,” after feeling her label was slacking — and then leaked that she was behind the leak during an interview with SPIN in December.
“It was something that I felt like I had to do to get the ball rolling,” she tells us earlier this week from her home outside of L.A. “I’m just that type of person in general. I can’t wait around for things to happen. I’ll do it myself if I have to.”
Her fans have taken a similar approach, leaking tracks, new, old or unreleased, they can get their hands on while they patiently wait the release of her sophomore studio album, “Joyride.” This is good in the way that she knows they’re dedicated; not so good in that her music is leaked without her knowledge or permission.
“Idk who leaks these things but it’s a bit creepy/ invasion of privacy aside from being disrespectful to my art,” she Tweeted after “Secret,” an unreleased track with DJ Mustard leaked in January. A leaked older track titled “On A Wave” featuring Drake leaked in June, but was quickly scrubbed from the Web. But the leak was all that was needed, because now it’s known: a Tinashe-Drake track exists.
More than anything, the singer, born Tinashe Jorgenson Kachingwe, is serious about her work. The Kentucky native has a low-key home life with her family outside the city — more overzealous fans leave love notes on her door, a too-close for comfort effort she admits, “You learn to expect it if you want to be at a certain level of success” — and is self-taught in sound production and engineering. She can mix her own work and is an active participant the collaboration process.
“It started out off necessity, and not wanting to wait for people to do things for me,” she admits. “It became me wanting to create my own body of work. [Knowing sound production] gives you a whole other level of perspective. When you know how songs are made, it doesn’t limit you as a writer or a creator when you to be able to express exactly what you’re thinking or seeing.
“Joyride” is set to drop sometime this spring, and three tracks from the LP — “Player” featuring Chris Brown, the aforementioned “Party Favors” and most recently, “Ride of Your Life” — are already ready for public consumption. She’s currently getting ready to head out on her own headline world tour (aptly titled the “Joyride Tour”), after opening for the likes of Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj, who she somehow sweetly falls between stylistically. The tour will feature music from her forthcoming album.
“I think, this time, we’re just trying to do it bigger and better,” Tinashe says of this round of shows. “[The last tour] was a learning experience, and now I’m ready to step my game up.”
If you go:
246 Tremont St, Boston
March 12 at 7 p.m.
125 E 11th St, New York
March 15 at 7 p.m.
Theatre of Living Arts
334 South Street Philadelphia