Her industry journey has been a wave of experiences that have now eased her into her era of being an independent artist, but that wasn’t what Tinashe had on the horizon when she was mapping out her career. She once thought that signing a deal with RCA Records would spell out the success she always dreamed of, but after nearly 10 years with the label, Tinashe decided to part ways. Many of her fans believe that she deserved more praise than she has received, especially as a Pop artist, and the singer seems to agree with the sentiment.

“I never wanted to be an independent artist,” she told Pitchfork. “I always wanted to be mainstream…I wanted to be top of the charts…When I first got in the game, I feel like my label viewed me very much as an R&B act, which was confusing because I felt that my music was more in the Pop space.”

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“There’s a lot of negative connotation associated with being a Pop artist: It’s cheesy, simple, basic,” she added. “It can be those things, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be…What pop means to me is strong melodies, strong performance, strong persona, catchiness, relatability. A lot of people made me feel that if I went in that direction, I would be watering down my artistry. I feel like, for many years, people were like, ‘Tinashe is corny,’ and it felt like a very lazy critique. Still, to this day, I’m like, what do you mean by that?”

“I try not to dwell on the fact that I feel so underrated, but it depends on the day,” Tinashe stated “There’s times I’ll question my worth because I don’t see the numbers or stats. It’s so easy to compare yourself when there are physical markers like that…I try to zoom out more and respect the space I’m in because it’s not a bad place at all.”

Check out a few still from her feature below. Also, make sure to check out our March 2022 Ladies First interviewwith Tinashe.

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