Aquarius, the kinetic debut album from R&B star Tinashe, is rightfully popping up on a bunch of year-end albums lists after at long last being released in October. During a recent stop by Billboard’s New York offices, the 21-year-old discussed some of the musical influences that helped shape her rhythmic sound, as well as the Aquarius songs she would like to see join “2 On” as a radio hit.
Watch the full video interview below:
Tinashe name-checks Sade, Janet Jackson, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera as major inspirations, and says that she has always looked up to female artists making waves in pop music. “I think it’s fun to kind of bring female artists back into the mainstream, because there’s only a few for the past few years, and I think there’s definitely room for more.”
“2 On,” featuring ScHoolboy Q, was a Top 40 hit on the Hot 100 chart earlier this year, and served as a breakout moment for the Los Angeles native. Tinashe says that it was an “incredible journey” arriving at a point where her music was being regularly played on Top 40 radio.
“‘2 On’ really caught people’s attention initially because it was the first time that they’d heard a female singing on that type of beat,” says Tinashe of DJ Mustard’s clap-heavy production. “DJ Mustard didn’t have any women on any of his music at the point when I wrote that song, and I thought that that would just be a fresh sound.”
Watch the video above to hear Tinashe’s picks for Aquarius’ other standout tracks and her newfound celebrity status, and check out the video for “2 On” below: