Tinashe Jorgensen Kachingwe, a.k.a Tinashe, has always been an entertainer. Recognizing her talent as a child, her parents moved from Lexington, Kentucky, where she was born, to Los Angeles, California so she could pursue her dreams. You may even remember her as “Celeste” in the sitcom Two and a Half Men, her most notable recurring role as a teenager. But Tinashe, of course, is most lauded for her music, since she first arrived on the scene as part of the five-person girl group, the Stunners, formed in 2007. Following the group’s disbandment in 2011, she’s been a solo artist, delivering a self-described “rhythmic pop” sound.
In February 2012, Tinahse released her first solo mixtape, In Case We Die, which was received well by music bloggers, and five months later, she was signed to RCA Records. Shortly after, she released a second mixtape project, Reverie, followed by a third mixtape, Black Water, the following year. Then, in 2014, Tinashe released Aquarius, her first studio album, which debuted in the top 20 on the Billboard charts. Since then, she’s released three albums, including Nightride (2016), Joyride (2018), and Songs for You (2019), the latter marking her first self-released studio album. Last month, Tinashe debuted the single “Pasadena” from her soon-to-be-released fifth studio album. Going down memory lane, she talked to Glamour about her discography, past and present, and the stories behind some of her most memorable songs.
Featuring the rapper Buddy, “Pasadena” is Tinashe’s lead single from her upcoming album, 333. Co-written and produced with the Swedish, L.A.-based musician Oliver Malcolm, Tinashe recorded the song last summer in her home studio, hoping it would be a post-pandemic feel-good hit by the time it arrived.
It felt really important that any music I put out right off the back of this really crazy year, just was really uplifting and, like, made people feel good. Because the last thing I wanted was something that made me feel slow and lethargic, sad and melancholy, because I feel like that was a lot of the emotions I was dealing with when I was stuck at home. I really wanted to just, as an artist, contribute to the conversation of the world and just be a part of that good energy.
Buddy was an artist who I’ve worked with a couple other times, and I’ve been a big fan of his, and we’re actually friends, as well. So I asked him to come over, and we were all in the studio together. We have a similar recording process: He just goes on the mic, and we freestyle melodies. And then from there, we write out the lyrics. We just had a really good time—we were drinking, we were looking at the sunset, we were vibing. We just wanted to make a song that was about joy, happiness, and togetherness.
The second lead single from Britney Spears’s ninth album, Glory, “Slumber Party” features Tinashe in the official remixed version. Peaking at number 86 on the Billboard Hot 100, “Slumber Party” also charted internationally, including in France, Spain, and the U.K. It’s produced by Mattman & Robin.
…Baby One More Time was the first album I ever bought or had of my own. So I think I’d been saying that in a lot of interviews, letting people know I loved Britney Spears when I first came on the scene and people asked, “Who are your influences?” So one day I got a phone call and it was from my product manager at my record label then, and they were like, “Guess what? I think Britney wants to put you on her new album.” And I was through the roof. I couldn’t believe it. I feel like I started screaming and jumping up and down.