Tinashe’s new record is mostly Dr. Luke and Max Martin productions.
Tinashe is eyeing the coveted number one spot on the charts after her latest record “Aquarius” failed her (easily one of the best albums in 2014). She’s recorded huge tracks with Max Martin and Dr. Luke in secret over the last five months as she prepares her takeover.
“I really didn’t waste any time,” Tinashe tells Spin about prepping for the release of her sophomore album, which she hopes to have completely finished by early fall. “Any opportunity that I had, I really focused and honed in on it.”
She knows if she wants that attainable success, she can’t take a break.
“Obviously my album had already been out for six months [by the time “On a Wave” leaked], which really isn’t that long in classic album timeframe,” she says, “But in this day and age, I always feel like there’s so much to be said for momentum. That’s why I’m doing all these other things. I would love to just release new material just to keep people talking, to keep my music relatively relevant.”
Martin and Luke aren’t the only super producers Tinashe’s enlisted since January – she’s asked Cirkut Rock City and other like-minded producers for their input.
“With this album, I have a very much clearer direction going into it of what I wanted as opposed to just shooting darts at the wall,” she says. “[With Aquarius], I knew what I wanted to do, but everybody that I was working with really had no clue who I was or what I wanted to do. They came up with a lot of stuff that wasn’t necessarily true to me. What I’ve learned with this second album is to not waste time making records that aren’t going to end up on the project. Don’t waste time spending the first day getting to know the producer and just cutting whatever they want. I used to do stuff like that, breaking the ice, and we would end up with a lot of material that I didn’t necessarily want in the end.”
“With Dr. Luke, I’ve actually been in the studio with him for five days total and we’ve made a handful of records,” she says. “The momentum felt really cool. With the second album, you always want to push it forward and I think that that one thing I was looking for from him was those big hooks, those super catchy, huge, smash hooks while still integrating that into what I do.”
“Seven or eight songs, depending on how many we keep. Obviously I feel like I’ve kind of created a lane for myself,” she says. “I’ve definitely created a sound, and I’m not trying to just abandon that or the fan base that I’ve created doing that type of music. [With this album], I’d like to play with some more tempos, to not have it all be in the mid-tempo range even though a lot of my music is. It’s been an adventure for me to figure out how to do my version of an uptempo, because the fastest song I’ve kind of ever really put out is ‘2 On,’ which is really only kind of like an upper/mid, 95-beat jam. I’m not really interested in doing like, down-the-middle EDM songs, but I’d like to figure out how to do that uptempo. I’m definitely trying to make songs that are hooky enough to cross over.”
“I need to get my No. 1,” she adds. “I am so impatient that I’m already thinking so far in the future. In my head we’re in 2016 and I’m winning my Grammy for this next album that’s already come out. Once I released Aquarius, even though I knew I had a lot of touring left to do, I felt like I was creatively done with that project. I’m 22, so might as well do as much as I can now while I have no responsibilities.”
In other words, get f—ing ready.