The dawning of the age of Aquarius
AT ABOUT 7pm last Wednesday we’re racing to the Coca-Cola Dome to catch the John Legend show. Thanks to the hit song All Of Me, most of the women in Gauteng are headed to the same venue so the traffic is hectic. We might arrive after Legend has started singing, but that is not my biggest worry.
I have agreed to interview the new R&B sensation Tinashe (Kachingwe), who will be calling at 7pm. Initially, the Legend date was supposed to happen at the weekend so it made sense to commit to the Tinashe interview midweek. But now I have both on the same night and need to make it work.
At 7pm on the dot the phone rings with the +44 international dialling code, and an English chap announces that in a minute he’ll be connecting me to Tinashe. I have the iPod recorder ready, my questions memorised and her music playing in the car. All cheesy, I know, but we all have our process.
When she says “hello”, everything else flows as if I am speaking to my neighbour. Hey Tinashe. We are off to see John Legend live right now. When is it going to be your turn to come down here? I can’t wait to come to South Africa. It would be really awesome to come and perform there some time. You are only 21 and you have released three mixtapes and an album. How have you managed to get that right? I think my success comes from tunnel vision. I have had the same goals since forever so I never looked at anything else. I sacrificed a lot, like going to normal school and living with normal friends. I have super high goals and over-the-top expectations for everything and I wanted the album to come out a whole lot faster, but it definitely took me a whole lot longer than I thought. I am glad that I got it right in the end. You are in the UK as we speak. How have you been received there? They are showing me a lot of love out here and it is great to know that while I am so far away from home, people care about my music. On your debut album you come across as thorough. How long did it take you to complete it? It almost took me two years to complete the album which was way longer than it did with my mixtape. When I made my mixtapes, it would usually take me under a month to sort out, but this was different. You have rappers like A$AP Rocky on it, among others. What sound were you pursuing? It’s rooted in a place of R&B, although I put in other influences, too. Things like hip hop, pop and even alternative music which all blend in well. The subject matter is just the stuff that I have been through as a young woman in the entertainment industry. I just try to write from my own perspective, and where I was when I was doing the project.
Is there still hope for R&B in 2014? I think we are getting there and R&B is going to be on the mainstream once again. I love R&B and I think that there are a lot of amazing R&B singers out there who are coming out right now so I think there is a great movement. Are you ready for international success and what it brings? I have to be ready for this as it is something that I have been working towards for as long as I can remember. I am definitely excited about the things that are coming in my life. I am looking forward to what is going happen next. I’ll take it as it comes, I guess.
Howdo you know when to stop tweaking a song? When I reach a point where I am comfortable with it. I am huge perfectionist so I always go back and rewrite it a million times until it feels right. You starred in a couple of episodes of
How much acting are you doing? I love to act and it’s another part of performing that I enjoy. I have had to step back for a bit because for me music comes first.
is available in music stores.
MAKING HER MARK: Tinashe Kachingwe has released her first album.