“I can’t be ignored. Motherf-ckers, I can’t be ignored!” declares Tinashe in the trailer for her sophomore album, Joyride (RCA), due out soon. To clarify, the 22-year-old Kentucky-born model-turned-actress-turned-singer doesn’t exactly feel as though she’s lacked attention during the past year, touring with both Nicki Minaj and Katy Perry, being hand-picked by Janet Jackson to perform at the BET Awards and recording with mega-producers Dr. Luke and Max Martin. It’s more that she’s kinda hard to please.
“I always have very high expectations,” Tinashe says over the phone from her home in Los Angeles. For example: unsatisfied with waiting for opportunities to shoot videos and record songs, Tinashe taught herself Final Cut Pro and figured out how to structure audio tracks using YouTube tutorials. By the time her first solo album came out in 2014, she’d already released four acclaimed mix tapes, all recorded and produced in her bedroom. “It’s really not as hard as it looks,” she says matter-of-factly, adding that she also laid down several tracks from Joyride while at home in her pyjamas. Thanks to Tinashe’s bold vocals and DIY edge—plus input from the most successful pop producers on the planet— the new album kills. Anyone who has foolishly ignored her up until now? They won’t be able to for much longer.