“I’ve never seen it snow while sunny,” Tinashe says as she looks out the window of the Phoenix Concert Theater during the Toronto stop of her Joyride tour. After completing a set of video interviews, Tinashe and I, two of four women in the male-dominated room, cozy up on a couch where we start discussing some of her recent accomplishments – including two cover stories for Complex and DAZED, r espectively.
When asked why she doesn’t have a new album or album release date despite her current tour and its accompanying interviews, Tinashe replies: “Honestly, the album is probably the only thing I can’t control. I can do all the other stuff, but it’s kind of out of my control as to when [the album’s] released or how it’s released. The tour and all the stuff was created with the intentions that the album [would be] out. It was supposed to come out at the end of [last] year, slash the beginning of [this] year, slash now who knows – but in the meantime, I’m just trying to do all I can to stay busy and connect with my fans. I’m still releasing new music and I’m previewing some of it in the show tonight, so it’s fun for me to just get people more excited that it’s coming.”
Tinashe goes on to explain that her album is finished, but just missing a couple of crucial pieces – like the legal process of releasing an album, which is hardly a joyride, and seemingly a headache. Regardless, Tinashe’s positive outlook pours out as she discusses the forthcoming album.
“Joyride, to me, it’s supposedly just a snapshot of where I am in my life. I feel like I’m on a joyride currently, just going to new places, trying new things, meeting new people and having new experiences, and it’s that time in my life where I feel like, ‘I don’t know what’s gonna happen next’ and everything is an adventure. I’m just trying to enjoy it as much as I can for what it is,” she says.
At just 23 years old, the prime of her young adulthood, Tinashe reflects on how her age has affected the new album: “I think that’s a time of your life where you just change a lot. You’re not a teenager anymore, you’re not exactly who you’re going to be forever yet, and you’re just in the process of growing and evolving, and I think there’s a reflection of that in my music as well.”
While Tinashe has always exuded a sexual confidence in her music, her first release of 2016, “Ride of Your Life”, highlights a maturity that comes with age. “It feels like the same Tinashe who’s always been there, but there’s an evolution and there’s growth. I’ve been inspired by a lot of new things and you can hear it in the music,” she continues.
Spearheaded by producers like Illangelo, Max Martin, Metro Boomin and more, Tinashe emphasizes the importance of chemistry between producers and artists, highlighting a special relationship she has with Toronto’s Boi-1da. “We first worked together a long time ago, maybe 2013. I think we have a lot of good personal chemistry, which is really important when you’re creating music – that there’s chemistry between the producer and artist. They can be the best producer ever, but if you guys don’t gel, then it doesn’t matter; it’s neither here nor there. Boi-1da is just a really sweet guy and a really cool person, so we gelled on that level and continued to work together,” she says. But despite working with these celebrated producers, Tinashe is still producing her own music from her bedroom in her parents’ home. “I love that home studio! It’s just super comfortable there and it feels like home, no pun intended,” she laughs. “It’s important for me to keep that essence, but I’ve obviously recorded in major studios as well with other people and collaborations, but every once in a while, it’s just nice having it be me, myself and my PJs.”
In every respect, Tinashe, despite her fame, is a “hair tied, sweatpants, chillin’ with no makeup on” kind of girl, especially around her family. “Just growing up in the house, there was always music happening and people were always singing, so no one ever discouraged me from singing. I give that a lot of credit,” she says. With a father from Zimbabwe, Tinashe attributes at least part of her musical identity to her Zimbabwean heritage. “I think they’re a very musical culture and I think that has had something to do with my love of music,” she suggests. “As far as the culture from Zimbabwe, I really want to experience more of it firsthand since my dad moved away from there when he was like, seven years old. So it’s not really like I have that much firsthand experience with the culture, but I’m trying to go ASAP.”
Creativity and comfort seemingly go hand-in-hand for this artist, but this combination isn’t an option for everyone, as seen in recent music business news. “Free Kesha!” Tinashe posted on her Periscope account shortly after fellow Sony singer Kesha was denied an injunction to terminate her contract with her alleged abuser Dr. Luke, a producer Tinashe has also worked with in the past. “I don’t know exactly the specifics about everything that goes on with it, but as a general message, I think we women should support each other – you gotta stick up for your girls!” Tinashe affirms. “That’s the thing about business and contracts, when people are obligated [to work] with people who they just honestly don’t feel like they can work with as a creative person, that’s very, very limiting and that sucks. I hope she’s just able to express herself as an artist still, because that’s the most important thing.”
While the justice system may be failing artists, Tinashe has stated that for her own career, ‘failure is not an option’ – a phrase that’s not only subjective, but a hard pill to swallow for any bourgeoning artist. “Failure is giving up,” she says. “I don’t think that I’ve failed yet because I haven’t stopped. That’s really where a lot of people in music, in entertainment, in life, falter. Things get hard sometimes, shit gets real, stuff gets pushed back, things don’t work out the way you thought they were going to, your plans don’t work out the way you thought they would, and people quit and get down on themselves – you can never let that happen. Even amongst all the adversity and the disappointments along the way, you can’t stop, you gotta keep going.”
Perhaps that’s the true essence of the term “joyride” – one that’s unwavering in its creative choices, is rooted in determination, and is fastened by strength. Or, perhaps, that’s just Tinashe.
Starley’s path to platinum status has been filled with starts and stops. After years spent trying to launch her career in her hometown of Sydney, Australia, and later in London and the United States, the popstar hopeful grew depressed. Her anxieties heightened. She was ready to quit. But before she decided to shift her focus onto her next passion – fitness – she made one final attempt at music. Telling herself that God works in mysterious ways but to remain faithful in his process, Starley penned the personal salve, “Call on Me”. The song caught the attention of Australia’s Central Station Records. Since then, everything changed for Starley. Central Station’s subsidiary, Tinted Records, released “Call on Me” as her debut single last July. Epic Records re-released the track later in October. To date, the song has peaked at number 70 on the Billboard Hot 100, and its remixed version by Aussie producer Ryan Riback has garnered over 338 million Spotify streams. Starley is currently touring North America for the first time supporting British electronic group Clean Bandit. Georgie got some time with the budding singer to talk about her mainstream ascent, dealing with mental health, and the importance of fitness
Clemens Rehbein and Philipp Dausch first met in the 11th grade, when they started performing together in a jazz quartet known as the Flown Tones. Although the band later disbanded, Rehbein and Dausch stuck together, and the pair went on to experiment with folk, reggae and electronica sound combinations. Eventually, this led to the formation of Milky Chance and the 2014 release of their debut album, Sadnessecary, which later went on to become a multi-platinum success. Now, three and a half years later, Milky Chance is ready to embark on a new adventure with the release of Blossom. The album’s first single, “Cocoon”, continues to climb the charts as the Blossom Tour makes its way across North America. Lead vocalist Rehbein spoke to Georgie about touring, writing and how being close friends with Dausch has benefited the band. G—It’s been about 3 ½ years since the release of Sadnecessary. How has your approach changed between your first and second albums? Clemens Rehbein—I wouldn’t say it’s changed in the way I write songs, but rather how we’ve developed as musicians. The songs are made of the same foundation, but they’re influenced by our experiences on the road and playing on stage. G—Was it
Jacob Sartorius’s path to fame has become an increasingly familiar story: teenaged internet sensation breaks out into mainstream pop stardom. But what sets the 14-year-old Virginian singer apart is his self-awareness and early career savvy. In 2014, Sartorius began uploading clips of himself singing and dancing to Vine. After amassing around 500,000 followers, he switched to musical.ly, where he began uploading videos of himself lip-synching to his own songs. Whereas Vine allowed him to show off his musical theatre background, musical.ly allowed him to show off even more of his lighthearted side. Musical.ly became a new way for him to promote his music and connect with his fans. Sartorius’s fan base has grown so large that he is currently touring internationally for the first time, across seven countries, in support of his debut EP, The Last Text. Georgie caught up with him by phone in London, England a day before he performed in front of 2,500 fans at the O2 Arena. In preparing for The Last Text World Tour, Sartorius has already started developing the work ethic necessary to endure major pop stardom. For 15 to 20 days leading up to the tour, he worked with his voice and movement coaches for up to ten