Tinashe just released her new album, BB/Ang3l, but if you dig back further into the archives, there’s some work that she’s not proud of. Specifically, she recently spoke about her “embarrassing” collaborations with Chris Brown and R. Kelly (“Player” and “Let’s Be Real Now,” respectively, both from when she was signed with RCA Records in 2015).
In an interview on the Zach Sang Show yesterday (September 13), Tinashe was asked if her collaborations with Brown and Kelly were among “things that felt label-y,” meaning things she was essentially forced to do. She laughed and responded, “You think I wanted to? [laughs] I literally… I block out that R. Kelly song from my mind. I forget that it even exists. That is so embarrassing. That is so unreal that I even have a song with R. Kelly. That’s so embarrassing. Yes, that was label-y! […] And I was so young, too, which is crazy because I feel like I did that song when I just signed to that label. I was probably, like, 20. That was crazy.”
Sang then commented that despite public perceptions of those collaborations being something that Tinashe was totally on board with, she probably lacked a lot of control over the situation. Tinashe responded, “You do, a thousand percent. Especially when it comes to singles, for example — that song with Chris [Brown]: that was a song that I put a lot of… we all wanted it to be this big moment, this big single. So I feel like, in their mind, they were like, ‘You need the support.’ He was their biggest artist that they had on rhythmic radio at the time. To me, I was like, ‘Well, this is a pop song. So, I really don’t feel like we should put Chris on it.’ That doesn’t compute to me, but… I don’t know.”