L.A.-based singer Tinashe is one of a kind. And while the eclectic sound of the ‘Black Water’ mixtape she dropped last year may warrant comparisons to so-called “alternative R&B” contemporaries like Jhené Aiko, FKA Twigs and SZA, it’s Tinashe's commercial viability that sets her apart from the pack.
Her DJ Mustard-produced single ‘2 On’ featuring ScHoolboy Q was a bona fide hit and a contender for song of summer 2014 (it peaked at No. 24 on the Billboard Hot 100 after Drake lent his vocals to an unofficial remix). Now she's got an A$AP Rocky collaboration, 'Pretend,' that could very well follow the same path.
It’s not just her hit-making ability that speaks to her superstar potential -- she's charismatic on camera, affable and candid in interviews and her musical output is as moody as it is catchy. Just in time for the release of her major label debut, 'Aquarius,' The Boombox brings you 25 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Tinashe to get you up to speed on the 21-year-old songstress.
Tinashe started off as a member of a girl group named The Stunners, put together by pop star Vitamin C.
Do not mess with Tinashe. She has a black belt in Taekwondo.
She had a recurring role on the TV show 'Two and a Half Men.'
Throughout middle school she was bullied.
Her burgeoning entertainment career didn't lead to classroom popularity. "Legions of kids would gang up on me and throw stuff at me for no reason," she said to Billboard.
The name Tinashe means "God is with us."
Her favorite restaurants include In-and-Out Burger.
Tinashe lists Sade and Janet Jackson as her influences, but has frequently been compared to Aaliyah.
"I think it’s just cool that people find similarities and comparisons in our different styles," she said.
She once had a crush on Harry Potter -- the book version, not Danielle Radcliffe's adaptation.
Watch Justin Bieber's 'Baby' video and you'll see a cameo from Tinashe.
'In Case We Die,' her debut mixtape, was created in her bedroom studio.
'Reverie,' her second mixtape, is a French title that means, "to daydream."
She wrote where the title for the 2012 mixtape comes from on her blog.
"I notice that as the presidential election in the United States draws ever nearer, people become tremendously caught up in the Hollywood drama of it all—- and automatically take on, without much consideration, all of the views and the opinions of 'the right or the left.
"…Thus, resulting in a disconnect from our REAL political duties as citizens of this Earth, and a neglect for the true issues human beings around the globe face every single day.
"We are so caught up in our media, in our jobs, in our gossip, and in our consuming that we genuinely feel like we don’t have the time or ENERGY to bother ourselves with the tribulations of nations near and far.
"This… is a synthetic world many of us live in today— a dream, if you will."
She's said she spent a year-and-a-half making 'Aquarius,' the longest of her projects.
Tinashe told Refinery29 that making her studio debut was a slower process.
'Twilight' star Taylor Lautner was on Tinashe's radar. She once had a crush on him.
The singer admitted to crushing hard on the 22-year-old actor.
Tinashe's extra talent is technical proficiency.
She's competent in ProTools, Logic and Final Cut Pro.
When she was 5, the chanteuse was in a made-for-TV film.
Tinashe played a dying character in 'Cora Unashamed,' a 2000 TV movie.
Her eyes are her favorite part of her body.
Charlie Sheen was "so professional," according to Tinashe. Of course, she worked with him long before the "winning" shenanigans got him fired.
Tinashe and Keyshia Cole are the only female artists DJ Mustard has worked with.
For a new artist, she's got quite a catalog.
She's recorded over 100 songs.
'Aquarius' coincidentally dropped the same day as the anniversary of 'The Velvet Rope,' her idol Janet Jackson's opus.
The secret to Tinashe's physique? Pilates and cardio.
"I live in L.A. and there’s a mountain by my house so I like to run up that a lot," she said in an interview with XO Jane.
Her first song, written when she was 5, was called ‘Deep in the Night.'
"It was about being afraid, and about not having to be afraid because I’m here for you -- so it was actually super deep and really mature for a 5-year-old," Tinashe said.
The Air Jordan 11s are her favorite sneakers.
"I love Jordan 11's. All of them. I’m obsessed with J’s -- I have Bred’s, these are the Gammas. I have the Space Jams at home," she tells Chicks N' Kicks
Her first solo YouTube cover was of Lil Wayne's 'How to Love.'
She has an artistic link to Sean Paul.
'2 On' samples the reggae artist's 2005 hit 'We Be Burnin'.'