- Tinashe released her latest single, “Talk To Me Nice,” on Friday.
- The singer spoke to Insider about the song, her career, and her work with ViiV Healthcare.
- Tinashe is currently part of a campaign that aims to end the stigma around HIV.
Almost a decade after she burst onto the scene with her smash hit “2 On” in 2014, Tinashe has released her latest single, “Talk To Me Nice.”
The song, her first release of 2023, and its accompanying music video dropped on Friday.
Speaking with Insider, Tinashe said that “Talk To Me Nice” will be the first song from an “upcoming project” that she is “really excited” to share with the world.
“It’s literally around the corner,” she said. “What’s interesting about this particular project is that, to me, it feels very much like my original works, except also very much in the future. It’s both nostalgic and futuristic at the same time.”
“I love that balance and that juxtaposition,” she added. “Like, it does feel familiar, it does feel like something that you would hear on my old mixtapes, but also it doesn’t feel dated. It feels very new.”
Insider spoke to Tinashe to talk about her new single, but also her musical legacy, her transition from child star to solo act, and her work with ViiV Healthcare on its campaign to normalize HIV prevention within the Black and Latin communities.
You recently played at a festival in Hyde Park, London. How was that experience?
Oh my gosh, it was so fun. I was just so shocked that there were so many people in that park. I didn’t know that it could fit that many people. I was like, “Hey, this is giving me Coachella vibes.” There’s so many people, like, as far as I could see.
What are your favorite songs to perform live?
It definitely depends on the audience. I really love at the beginning of my shows when “X” drops. I always think that people are really excited when the beat drops on that one, and that’s usually like the third song I play. “Life’s Too Short” is always a really fun moment for me too.
Do you ever perform any of your songs from your time with The Stunners?
Oh my gosh, no. I’ve never performed a Stunner song. That would be actually pretty funny. People are always asking me for my mixtape music and stuff like that from like early on in my career.
Talking about The Stunners, how important do you consider your time with the group?
I do think that I was lucky to have my experience in The Stunners because I think it taught me so much about the music industry. I always knew I wanted to do music, but I’d never recorded in a major recording studio. I’d never gone on tour before. I’d never shot a professional music video before. So, all of these firsts for me were in The Stunners, and it really gave me that experience under my belt.
We went on tour with Justin Bieber. I think it gave me a little bit of an advantage when I did decide to finally start pursuing my solo career. I was like, “Okay, I know how this works now.” I don’t have to like figure out how to get in this studio and record a song. So I’m really grateful for that learning experience.
What was it like touring with Bieber?
It was so exciting. All the fans just screaming and we were playing in arenas. It was wild. His fans were just so crazy. They would be outside of the bus waiting afterwards, hundreds of them, just screaming. Just the most piercing screams you’ve ever heard. I felt like the shit because I was kind of a part of it too. The fans were screaming for us, too, because we were just somewhat associated.
Your first major solo hit came in 2014 with “2 On,” which sold over 1.5 million copies. Did you expect that song to take off the way it did?
No, but also yes, because I was a bit naive at the time. It was the first single I ever put out. So I had nothing to gauge it on. So, I guess I did think it would be successful because you assume immediately that it’s gonna work because you just don’t know any better. As the years went on, it was more surprising for me to see that I had that much success at the beginning. It didn’t sink in at first, if you know what I mean.
Have you since felt a lot of pressure to match the commercial success of “2 On?”
Absolutely. To this day I’m hoping I’ll beat “2 On.” I hope that isn’t my biggest hit I’ve ever had ever for the rest of my life. There is definitely still some pressure in that regard. Every time I put out a new release, I wonder if one of these songs is ever gonna reach that level of success. But at the same time, I don’t feel badly about it or have anxiety about it.
I think it’s something that I’ve let go, in terms of how my music is gonna perform. I’ve made the best music that I can make, and I’m focused on that and creating the best art and I think that’s a much healthier mental state to be in.
Well, success can be measured in many different ways, right?
It’s easy to get caught up in numbers and statistics and things like that. But the more experienced I’ve become in the game, I’ve really realized that what truly makes me successful is the fact that I have longevity, that I’m still doing this, I’m still growing, and that I still have so much more to give and offer and I haven’t become jaded.
Tell us about your work with ViiV Healthcare and their “Me In You, You In Me” campaign, which aims to normalize HIV prevention within the Black and Latin communities.
I just think it’s such an important message and something that I wanted to be a part of, to help spread awareness and hopefully help end some of the stigma. I think that we need people talking about HIV and having these conversations so that it can become normalized so that people don’t feel afraid to get tested, get medication, or take preventative measures.
I think people not having those conversations is really dangerous. If we can get past the stigmatization, then hopefully people will no longer be afraid to take the steps to prevent, manage and treat HIV.
Why do you think that the stigma surrounding HIV is still so strong today?
I think people think that HIV is the issue of the past and that when it comes to sexual health in general, it can be embarrassing for people to talk about. I know in a lot of communities, it’s something that could be very shameful for people’s families and friends, and so it’s just really important to end the stigma and to be able to be honest and be open.
This campaign is step one. It’s about having these conversations, it’s showing that it’s okay to talk. I hope that by being part of it I can just can help spread that message further and further.