Just two years ago, Tinashe's career was in a bad place. Her long-awaited album Joyride had arrived but it didn't feel quite right. Preceded by a handful of failed, genre-skipping singles, the album lacked the lazer focus of her previous projects. Once one of the most promising new voices in music, she's been swallowed up in the label system.
Over the weekend, Tinashe dropped a dance video for the ZHU remix of her track Die A Little Bit. It was the first single of last year's Songs For You and signalled a comeback for her, on her own terms. No longer signed to RCA, it's her first independent project. It's now undergoing a revamp thanks to a few great remixes.
The reason we need to chat is because this new video is an absolute serve. She's completely grabbed the reigns of her career and she looks every bit the icon she is. At one point, Tinashe was being resigned to a features artist, often on dance songs, stripping her of the ability to spotlight her own talent.
What this visual, and every visual from Songs For You, proves is that she's regained her confidence, re-aligned her aesthetic and redefined the kind of artist she wants to be. Every bit of this project is her. These dance videos, in particular, feel triumphant, as if she's finally put that past to bed and is stepping into the future as a superstar.
The truth is there are few artists out there right now that have the presence and precision that she exhibits in the video. She takes the stage without asking for permission and smashes every dance move with militant power.
Songs For You was well-received at the time - hailed as a comeback - but the past few months have been particularly important for Tinashe. While speaking out about her experiences as an independent artist and submitting herself to the Grammys, she's been a powerful and vocal advocate of the Black Lives Matter movement, mobilising her fanbase. For someone who was having her career watered down just two years ago, it's a stunning change of course.
The most exciting thing is we feel like the best is yet to come. She's only just hitting her stride.