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Who is Tinashe?

She loves to get “2 On,” and now she’s about to get her first one on with the October 7th release of her debut album, Aquarius. This is all good for R&B’s newest sweetheart, Tinashe, who is a dance step away from being the next Mya. Bright sugary voice mixed with explicit lyrics, sultry attitude and Ciara-level dance moves – and yeah, you get Tinashe.

“2 On” shot to # 1 on rhythm radio back in January, and lived there for over four weeks. The song cracked the Top 40 on Billboard Hot 100, peaking at No. 24. Not a bad start. Tinashe also performed “2 On” live for the first time on national television at the pre-show for the 2014 BET Awards. Viewers tuned in to the catchy-club-beat-meets-crazy-dance-moves as she sang about getting both high and drunk at the same time. That said, it’s hard to believe that this song passed the sniff test with Tinashe’s parents, with whom the 21-year-old allegedly still lives.

Tinashe Jorgensen Kachingwe (whose name means “God Is With Us” in her father’s native Zimbabwe tongue) was raised in L.A. and launched her entertainment career at age three. Trained in ballet, jazz and tap, she went on to act in Cora Unashamed, The Polar Express (alongside Tom Hanks) and Two and a Half Men.

From age 14-18 she was originally singing with a girl group called The Stunners. The group found mainstream success under Columbia Records, but after disbandment, Tinashe went solo. She created her own home studio in her bedroom and released the mixtape In Case We Die. Soon after, she signed with RCA Records and released two more mixtapes, Reverie andthe popular Black Water. Her single “Vulnerable” from the latter mixtape showcases her more seductive side over a dirty underground beat, and features rapper Travi$ Scott, whom like SchoolBoy Q on “2 On,” kicks in an explicitly vulgar rap.

The next recently released single off Aquarius is “Pretend” featuring A$AP Rocky. This song is way more vulnerable than “Vulnerable.” “When I’m looking for love, I pretend it’s you,” she croons in that smoky voice. Sweet sentiment, nice concept. In the video, Tinashe is Ms. Boo Thang in college; hella flirty, hella sweet, hella cheeky, hella in control. Totally reminds me of Mya in “Moving On”. Yep, this character in the R&B/hip-hop world, we get – and it’s refreshing to see her again.

Could this pretty young thang be the next R&B sensation? Have to wait ‘till Aquarius drops to find out.


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About the Author

on MUSIC IS MY OXYGEN WEEKLY.

Mic check 1,2,1,2. Not the words you expect to bust out of Orange County, California, but that's where Deborah Jane found her funk. Daughter of Guyanese immigrants, Deborah grew up in an all-white suburb where she was one of the only black kids in her school. (Fun fact: She didn't make her first black friend until attending Stanford University). Hip-hop gave her a voice and helped her discover her roots. Now she is an emcee and writer who both spits raps and writes editorials, TV shows and films - especially hip-hop musicals!

At Stanford, she wrote and produced an award-winning hip-hop musical, Strange Fruit: The Hip-Hopera (www.strangefruithiphopera.com) - now in development as a feature film. Deborah also launched her hip-hip theatre webseries, The HOTT (www.youtube.com/TheHOTTtv), published in Urban Cusp Magazine. Currently, she is penning her first hip-hop album, Do You Love Me Deborah Jane? And do you? She truly hopes you all love her.

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