Over the past few years we’ve seen the trend for bedroom crafted R&B mixtapes garnering commercial appeal. Artists who started out their careers by releasing Internet distributed mixtapes, taking a route more often associated with hip-hop and paving their own way, are proving they can shift units with retail albums. Another win for the Internet and real music! Next up is Tinashe, the “bedroom R&B” artist who easily has the most pop appeal.
Upon meeting her it’s clear that she is having a few problems finding the balance between the total creative freedom that she’s been used to, and the needs of a major label. “I didn’t even ask anyone what they thought of it or anything,” she tells RWD Mag of her previous releases. “I just did what I wanted, put it up online, and was like ‘Here guys, this is what I did!’” Today she is ironing out a few issues before the deadline for her debut album Aquarius and is noticeably frustrated, but who wouldn’t be? After years of releasing free mixtapes, from 2012’s In Case We Die and Reverie to last year’s Black Water, the stakes are raised; her DJ Mustard-produced ‘2 On’ is virtually unescapable on Urban Radio and the follow up, ‘Pretend’ with A$AP Rocky, is set to do the same.