Tinashe is not your average pop-star. Though like the Britney’s and Beyonce’s before her she loves choreography, fashion, and is passionate about making her performances experiential, she’s in a league of her own when it comes to her influences. Since shedding limiting label of R&B star that was wrongly attributed to her and is now free to explore concepts in her music that some may be surprised by; alternative realities. Tinashe tells METAL that she was that little girl in elementary school sitting in the library devouring books about the Loch Ness monster, aliens and later researching Buddhism and spiritualism; a day-one fascination with the metaphysical and paranormal. Even now she can be found in YouTube wormholes learning about AI and space travel. This curiosity for unknown and altered states of consciousness is infused into her work, and her latest album, 333, Tinashe builds upon her belief that we could very well be living in a simulation, that the world we see around is really just some elaborate video game, and our ‘selves’ just avatars navigating its story as it unfolds. Created during the pandemic, Tinashe drew from the darkness and uncertainty that was consuming the globe to create an album that was uplifting, other- worldly, passionate; a celebration of human connection and perseverance. Through her music she wants to encourage her fans to be excited about what the future holds, not daunted by it; to trust in the universe as she does. With a combination of self-love bops like Bouncin and hallucinogenic, angelic tracks like 333, you can’t help but feel a little lighter, healed from all the pain and trauma we’ve collectively felt.
While futuristic technologies like the metaverse incite fear in some, Tinashe looks onto the future and the development of these spaces with optimism; urging those who may already feel alienated by these spaces to get involved so “demons don’t take over” (ie. the very elite who run our present world). Tinashe is also deeply spiritual, and though some may think that spirituality could be at odds with the mechanical, unnatural realm of technological advancement, she is passionate that the two walk hand in hand. When discussing how close (but yet how far) we are from creating conscious AI, she states that the missing piece in the puzzle is drawing upon spiritualist teachings, where alternate realities and the nature of consciousness have been explored for centuries. In Tinashe’s words, “They’ve just got to get a little more magical, you know?”. Perhaps with Tinashe’s spiritual intervention, we may soon be able to attend a VR performance that doesn’t fall flat, that doesn’t feel like you’re sitting in your living room, but feels like you’re there, really there; Tinashe takes your virtual hand as you embark on a sonic journey never to be forgotten.