Surprise! Tinashe‘s sophomore record Joyride is still not coming – eighteen months after she announced it was finished.
Speaking on the delays to The Guardian, Tinashe had this to say: “It’s not like [Joyride is] sitting in a vault locked up, it’s always getting better and improving. I plan on doing a solid few more months recording then hopefully getting it out this year.” She optimistically went on to reason that “things haven’t always gone according to [her] original plan, but that’s life, and things change.”
Since announcing the Joyride album way back in September 2015 (!), Tinashe has taken every logical step in the path to promoting the followup to her genre-bending, major label debut Aquarius in 2014. Tinashe embarked on the Joyride Tour, dropped a spectrum of singles and featured on major collaborations, climaxing with the release of project Nightride. And yet despite this, not one hit has surfaced to challenge her signature track “2 On”. Sadly, no hits means no second album, and Joyride has suffered more delays than ANTi, So Good and Dua Lipa combined. Tinashe‘s fanbase must be immune to the pain of hearing about Joyride‘s 63rd delay and at this point, it sounds like we have another Original Doll on our hands.
As somebody who has been stanning for Tinashe since the Reverie mixtape blessed my ears in 2012, it’s truly distressing to witness the injustices being committed against her. Tinashe has the whole package: Tinashe writes. Tinashe sings. Tinashe dances. Tinashe acts. Tinashe models. Tinashe produces. Tinashe engineers. If there’s something Tinashe doesn’t yet do, give her a YouTube documentary and soon enough she will. So why does the industry and the general public continue sleeping on her so much?
Part of me thinks that the root of the issue is that Tinashe is, almost admittedly, chasing Grammys for Best Pop Album instead of critical acclaim. “It’s been like that for years!” she explained of her phone’s wallpaper – a Grammy award. “I consider myself a pop artist who makes R&B-tinged pop music,” she stated of herself. Tinashe very clearly wants to be a Britney or Janet level icon. Now, I do not advocate that people give up on their dreams, especially when somebody has as much talent and drive as Tinashe does. It would fare better for Tinashe if, instead of chasing the charts, she were to continue releasing the trippy soundscapes which helped establish herself and set her apart from everybody else. Tinashe could continue to raise her profile in this way, by slaying with that cutting-edge material and eventually scooping those Grammy awards she craves. Its worked wonders for contemporaries like SZA, and it could work for Tinashe too. Perhaps a major label like RCA is just not the appropriate avenue for an artist like Tinashe? Let’s not forget that she did amazingly well as an indie artist, so why not go back to that? Realistically, whatever Tinashe‘s doing now is hindering rather than helping her career, and a two year album delay sends major red flags to audiences.
Either way, I’m sure that this underdog will figure it out. As the age old saying goes – talent always wins.