“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.
The meaning of Jazz Cartier’s Fleurever is rooted in duality. In the two years since his sophomore mixtape, Hotel Paranoia, the artist has had to “[battle] the balances of love and money, risks and rewards, right and wrong, or living and dying”, alongside coming to terms with the throes of wealth and fame. Subsequently Fleurever—or, as he calls it, his “third project”—explores Cartier’s personal growth in the years following. With his newfound maturity in tow, Toronto’s rising rap star is on course to start a music revolution—well, that’s the idea anyway. Georgie caught up with Cartier to talk about gratitude, the rapper’s personal transformation, and the driving force behind Fleurever. G—Can you tell us a bit about your latest album Fleurever and the inspiration behind it? JC—Most of the inspiration came from growth, and a bit from my departure from Toronto. A lot of the record was made in my last days in Toronto, and just having that cloud over my head and knowing that I’d be leaving soon—it was more so showing my affection for the city that pretty much shaped my sound. G—Did you have a vision in mind when you started writing this album? JC—For the most part Fleurever is just myself and my
When asked to describe herself in three words, Nina Nesbitt didn’t hesitate. “Introverted, creative, and driven”. While you wouldn’t guess the former from her edgy, empowering tracks—her latest single “Loyal To Me” is a girl-power anthem, rallying women to ditch their unfaithful partners—the latter two can’t be questioned. In the six years since she was discovered in an unplanned encounter with Ed Sheeran, Nesbitt has released three EPs and one full length album; toured with Sheeran, Justin Bieber, and U.K rapper Example; and carved her way into the alt-pop scene with a harmonious blend of groove and grit. Earlier this year, the Edinborough-native was one of three emerging female artists chosen to partake in Spotify’s “Louder Together” initiative, recording the first collaborative Spotify single (“Psychopath”) with Sasha Sloan and Charlotte Lawrence, and showcasing her signature style of thoughtful messages pulsating atop hook-driven melodies. With her sophomore album ready to drop, Georgie spoke with Nesbitt about her experience being thrust into the spotlight and maintaining her creative independence throughout it all. G—You’ve been touring a lot this year, specifically in North America. How have your North American audiences been receiving your shows? Is it different than performing for UK audiences?
Named for the Toronto area they grew up in, The Beaches are a far cry from a placid day on the lake. Led by singer/bassist Jordan Miller—with her sister and guitarist Kylie Miller, guitarist/keyboardist Leandra Earl and drummer Eliza Enman-McDaniel—the Canadian four-piece burst out of Toronto with their 2018 debut, Late Show, and have since built up an aura of dissident swagger. Taking home this year’s Juno for Breakthrough Group of the Year, the all-fem rock quartet is bringing grunge, gloss, and 70s glamour to a predominantly male genre. Georgie caught up with Leandra to talk about the band’s latest music video, taking charge of their music, and three simple ways to keep women in the industry. G—Did you grow up together in Toronto? LE—Yeah, I met the girls in high school. Jordan and Kylie are sisters, so they’ve known each other a bit longer, but they grew up with Eliza in Toronto’s Beaches area. G—What kind of music were you listening to at that time? LE—We grew up listening to all of the music our parents listened to. That definitely influenced us while writing our debut album since we drew from a lot of the 70’s music that our