The night that the fourth nor'easter hit the East Coast in March, Tinashe was in Philadelphia, posting up at the Wells Fargo Center. “[I thought], ‘I’m out in Philly in a snowstorm -- like, what am I doing here?’” she asks with a raised eyebrow the following morning, sipping a mimosa and lounging in a very un-11 a.m.-on-a-weekday ensemble: oversized faux fur, thigh-high red leather boots, long blonde tresses impeccably curled.
As Tinashe’s 2.2 million Instagram followers know, she was taking a brief break from promoting her upcoming, long-delayed second album, Joyride (out April 13), to watch her boyfriend, Philadelphia 76ers forward (and rookie of the year candidate) Ben Simmons. That night, the pair, who have been dating since late 2017, posted their first photo together, embracing after the game. “I have never, ever in my life posted a boy,” she says, and she’s not exaggerating: Though Tinashe is refreshingly honest and matter-of-fact this morning at New York’s Soho House, her social media feed is stylized and focused, a carefully curated string of dramatic photos of her, usually accompanied only by cryptic lyric snippets.
“It’s a natural part of my personality to keep a lot private and protected,” says the 25-year-old (born Tinashe Kachingwe). “And yeah, there can be a downside to that. People maybe feel they don’t know who I am. But at the same time, I’m not mad at the fact that the music comes first.”