The Stunners and Solo beginnings
Tinashe spent two years as a member of the girl group The Stunners, founded by Vitamin C. She quickly joined Allie Gonino, Hayley Kiyoko, Kelsey Sanders (later replaced by Lauren Hudson in 2009) and Marisol Esparza to form the Stunners. After forming in 2007, The Stunners signed a record deal from Columbia Records. The group subsequently bought out of their contract with Columbia, and received a scripted television show in development with MTV based on the group’s lives. In October of that year, the girls released a 5-song EP. They released a holiday single in December 2009, produced by Desmond Child titled “Santa Bring My Soldier Home”. The group performed the song on The Today Show as well as The Wendy Williams Show. They signed to Universal Republic Records, and were announced as an opening act on Justin Bieber’s My World Tour. They recorded and wrote their album with musicians such as Sheppard Soloman, Jimmy Harry and Tony Kanal of No Doubt fame. They shot a fourth music video in the desert of California in November for their new song “Spin The Bottle” which premiered on December 31, 2010. A full album along with an official second single titled “Heart Stops Beating”, written by Tinashe and Allie and produced by Orange Factory Music was planned, but cancelled when the group split in 2011.
After the Stunners officially disbanded, Tinashe began pursuing a solo career. She also announced via her official Twitter page that she would be singing the theme song to the CW show Shedding for the Wedding. On May 3, 2011, Tinashe gave her first televised solo performance in front of 57,000 people during the Dodgers VS. Cubs baseball game singing the National Anthem, “God Bless America”. She released her first solo music video, a cover of Lil Wayne’s single “How to Love”. The song was later released as a free digital download via Tinashe’s official website. Following the video’s release Tinashe confirmed she had officially been released from her recording contract with Universal Republic. Announced on August 5, 2011, Tinashe was featured on the dance single “Artificial People” by the music production company OFM, the single was released on September 12, 2011. On November 25, 2011 Tinashe released the music video for “Can’t Say No”, her first original solo song. The track samples Britney Spears’s song “Blur” from her sixth studio album Circus. The song was released for download on November 28, 2011.
2012–present: Mixtapes, RCA Records and Debut album
February 2012 saw the release of In Case We Die, Tinashes debut solo mixtape. The mixtape released four singles, the first being promotional song “Chainless” which was released to iTunes the December 19, 2011. The first official single from the mixtape “My High” was released for streaming on her official website. The second official single released from In Case We Die was announced as “This Feeling”. The music video was released on May 1, 2012 to GlobalGrind.com. The mixtapes final single Boss was released August 20, 2012 just after the song was featured in an episode of the VH1 series Single Ladies. The music video debuted on August 14, 2012 and was self-directed and co-written by Tinashe and Jt Ervin. The mixtape was received positively by the blogosphere.
On July 13, 2012 Tinashe announced she had signed with RCA Records. Following Tinashe signing to RCA she released her second mixtape Reverie on September 6, 2012 through her official website. The Mixtape released three singles, the first “Stargazing” was released on August 21, 2012, the second “Ecstasy” was released on December 18, 2012 and the final single from the mixtape “Who Am I Working For?”, the video for the song was released on March 12, 2013. Upon its release, reviews for Reverie were generally positive. Tumblr blogger Yakk compared Tinashe’s use of “more underground sounds and gaining interest in the music industry” to Frank Ocean and The Weeknd.
From August to November 2012, a series of remixes of songs from Tinashe’s two mixtapes leaked online to critical acclaim.On November 5, 2012 Tinashe hinted that she was working on an EP compiled of remixes, which was later confirmed.
Tinashe is currently working on her debut studio album. Her debut album is set to be released in 2013 and Tinashe has been recording the album in New York. Tinashe has been working with producers including Clams Casino, Ryan Hemsworth, T-Minus, Boi-1da, Fisticuffs, Best Kept Secret and Ritz Reynolds. On April 9, 2013 Tinashe released a collaboration single with producer Jacques Greene, titled Painted Faces via Adidas Originals and Yours Truly’s campaign “Songs From Scratch”. On November 26, 2013 Tinashe released her third Mixtape Black Water.
Tinashe describes her musical style as a mixture of “urban, rhythmic and pop”, with influences from indie, alternative, and hip hop. She said that, musically, she is “attracted to darker vibes and darker moods” as well as using “light, higher and softer voice”. Tinashe cites artists including Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Sade and Christina Aguilera as influences.