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Tinashe’s V Magazine Story

You already know that Tinashe is one of the newest covers of V Magazine’s music issue and today you can read up on the interview with Tinashe and Patti Labelle. Hit the jump to check out the conversation and click HERE to pick up the latest issue.[more…]

PATTI LABELLE Hi Tinashe, it’s Patti LaBelle. 

TINASHE It’s such an honor to talk to you. I’m excited. 

PL Oh that’s sweet. How old are you, baby girl?

T Twenty-one.

PL Twenty-one! [laughs] I’m so happy for your success. 

T Thank you so much, that means a lot to me. 

PL When did you first discover your musical talent?

T When I was three years old, singing with my family. My dad’s family is from Zimbabwe, so there was a lot of music and harmonizing in the house. 

PL What about your writing?

T I started when I was six years old. I wrote my first official song and then performed it at one of my piano recitals. I think I have a videotape of it, and I was missing my two front teeth! I actually sampled that song and put a clip of it as an interlude on my album Aquarius. 

PL Oh! That’s great. You know, I was with a group years ago called Labelle, and you were also part of a group called the Stunners. Do you miss being part of a group?

T In a group, there’s a sense of companionship. That’s something you don’t get by yourself. And as a solo artist there’s a lot more pressure on you because you don’t have anyone else to fall back on. But at the same time, when an accomplishment comes your way, being a solo artist can be a little more fulfilling. 

PL I’ve experienced the same thing. I find that I blame myself if something goes wrong. It’s all about me. You’re also interested in acting, like I am. 

T Acting has always been a big part of my life just because I’ve always enjoyed performing and entertaining…putting on a show. My dad was a theater actor, so he encouraged me to be a professional at a really young age. I think that helped me learn a lot about the industry in general. But I took a step back from acting when I was about 15 years old because I wanted to focus on music and make sure people were taking me seriously as a musical artist. I hope that I can get back into acting sometime in the future. 

PL Oh I know that! [laughs] You will. You know, you have been named in the press as the best voice of female R&B since Beyoncé. You got it going on, girl! How does it feel to hear those things?

T Any time somebody compares you to an icon or someone you respect on a talent level, that’s amazing. It’s a great feeling. I definitely take it as a huge, huge compliment. Obviously, I would like to be known as myself, and sometimes comparisons can put you into a box. I don’t want to feel like I have to compete with other female artists either. [Beyoncé] can be the icon that she is, and I can become who I am as well. 

PL You sure can. There’s room for all of us! Who are some of your biggest musical influences from the past and present?

T When I was growing up my parents played a lot of ’90s R&B, so that was initially where I got my love for R&B music, by listening to a lot of Janet Jackson, Sade, Keith Sweat, and Tony! Toni! Toné! I guess that was when I fell in love with music, but I continued to explore different genres as I got older. I got into a lot of indie and alternative.

PL I think that’s great. I’m so happy for you! And you know that now that you’ve released your album it’s officially a critical success. What’s your next big ambition? What is your ultimate dream?

T Well first of all, thank you so much. My next focus is to promote, to be able to tour, and go around the world and play my music for people, meet new people, and have new experiences. In the long term, I hope to inspire others. 

PL And that’s so great, to inspire. I believe that’s our job if we’re blessed with the mic, as I like to say, and blessed with success and recording and all things are looking good for us. We have to turn to the other kids coming up and say, If I can do it, you can do it. 

T Absolutely, right. That is amazing. 

PL We have to! And who taught you to dance, baby girl?

T [laughs] Well, like I said, my family is from Zimbabwe so there was always a lot of music and dance in the house and I was always encouraged to move around. I started taking dance classes when I was about four years old. My parents got me involved in ballet and tap from a really young age. It’s so connected to music and expressing yourself, that’s why I love it. 

PL Well I hope I get to see it one day! 

T Oh my goodness, that would be crazy. 

PL And continue with your success!

T I appreciate it. Thank you so much, Patti. 

PL Alright, baby girl.  

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