Jared Felton-Grice / DJ Graffiti
Female hip-hop often relates to female R&B: the genres often connect and influence each other. A product of this fusion, with soft R&B vocals with hip-hop dance moves and beats, Tinashe emerges to satisfy listeners of both styles. Premiering her Joyride world tour is her lead single “Ride of Your Life” produced by Atlanta super-producer Metro Boomin. When it was time for Tinashe to take center stage at Center Stage Theatre (backed by one of the largest producers in the hip-hop world) I knew I was in for a ride.
Lights off, smoke rising, excitement building – The start of the show left the audience whispering as the tour started with a small cinematic clip. The screening reads, “Prepare for the ride of your life”. As the video abruptly ends, so does our waiting. Tinashe made an accurate assumption when she begins singing: “I might change your life”. She struts to the center of the stage, her formidably stilled background dancers standing fierce beside her. Predictably, she started the concert with her lead single, with lights and choreography to make sure her star shined. As the night progressed, Tinashe sang (almost chronologically) her top hits, with some EDM inspired songs sprinkled in through her performance.
I could not help but see parallels and influences between Rihanna and Tinashe as the latter performed. Tinashe has mastered that hip-hop pop fusion Rihanna developed, along with her bad girl persona, which influenced her inevitable gravitation toward a more hip-hop sound. However, Tinashe’s more-subtle sensuality is refreshing given our evermore-explicit hip-hop/R&B music generation. Also opposing her bad girl counterpart, Tinashe surprises you with her innocent voice, then puts you under her spell with her seductive ballads of lust and love.
I left the concert in awe: rarely does an artist, both vocally and visually impress more on stage than in person-Tinashe possesses such quality. She obviously enjoys her work and her energy emitted with her dancers toward the audience that night. Cheers for an encore did not fall on deaf ears: Tinashe ended the night with “2 on”, the single that made her famous. I left Center Stage impressed, both as a dancer and as a hip-hop fan. Tinashe dominated both areas, doing so with a sincere smile and a stunting performance to kick off my Saturday night.
Also have a look at “Player” ft. Chris Brown: