Tinashe has been steadily releasing albums for years now even when she had an ongoing battle with her former record label. The musician recently explained about fighting to e seen as a pop artist in an industry that is highly segregated.
As certain labels and award shows are choosing to stop using the word ‘urban’ to describe Black artists, people are challenging them to change their ways when it comes to putting artists of color in a box.
One excellent example is Tyler, the Creator who has changed his sound completely on his latest album Igor that still won the Grammy for Best Rap Album.
He directly addressed the snub against Black artists who make genre-bending music in a speech that has been resurfaced on social media at a time where Black creators are voicing their concerns.
& in an attempt to make my sound more pop department friendly, the public rejected it, I lost my spirit/ inspiration as a creative, &had to part ways with the label entirely. Luckily I’ve thrived as an independent artist, but I know first hand how insidious & traumatizing this is
— TINASHE (@Tinashe) June 18, 2020
Tinashe tweeted in response to a Rolling Stone piece that speaks about the genre of pop being a hard one to get into as a Black artist.
The 2 On singer tweeted: ‘As a black woman I fought HARD AF , for years, to be considered ‘pop’ by my label without changing my sound because of the inevitable ceiling I felt was put on the urban and rhythmic departments…. then the pop department didn’t find my music acceptable so I molded it for them. [And] in an attempt to make my sound more pop department friendly, the public rejected it, I lost my spirit/ inspiration as a creative, &had to part ways with the label entirely. Luckily I’ve thrived as an independent artist, but I know first hand how insidious & traumatizing this is.’
She went on to explain how it wasn’t simply the fault of her former label but is a much bigger problem.
‘I want to add to this that it wasn’t fully their ‘fault’ as it is also the responsibility of radio programmers, iheartradio, steaming service playlists, and people who book award shows performances and talk show performances that systemically play a part in this.’
What do you think of her candid anecdote?