The thirst is real for Tinashe’s February/March Complex cover and we have your first behind-the-scenes look at the shoot.
The 22-year-old pop star appears posing in a lime green Moschino bra and underwear set, and then in a flashy white crop top and denim shorts for the rest of the steamy spread.
Photographed by Sarah Mccolgan, Tinashe – full name Tinashe Jorgenson Kachingwe – is no stranger to the spotlight, appearing on television shows and in movies since she was 6. She sang with a girl group, the Stunners, that toured with Justin Bieber in 2010, and, eventually, went solo with a trilogy of dreamy R&B mixtapes, nearly all recorded in her bedroom.
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Tinashe attributes her exponential rise to success to her parents and brothers, who would rotate their personal schedules in order to accommodate her auditions. “It’s been something I’ve been involved in doing since I was young,” she says. “But it’s a no-brainer. Because I get that support back in invaluable ways.”
While Tinashe may be a rising pop star – garnering Best New Artist nominations at the 2016 BET Awards and Soul Train Awards, and going platinum in 2014 with her single “2 On”; – she notes that the Kachingwes, which includes her parents, Michael and Aimie, and two younger brothers, Thulani and Kudzai, still maintain a modest middle-class existence, living in a cozy single-level home almost 30 miles north of downtown Los Angeles. “Everyone lives in Hidden Hills,” Tinashe says, referring to the gated community near Calabasas, California, home to the Kardashians. “It’s so cliché.”
The ultimate goal for Tinashe is to achieve massive pop success like the artists she’s tour with: Justin Bieber, Nicki Minaj and Katy Perry.
“I have no Plan B,” she says. “I’ve set this up so that my entire life is based on this, and if this fails I have nothing else. No career options. No life options. I’ve sacrificed so much for this; failure is so beyond an option. There can only be setbacks. It’ll eventually work because it can’t not work.” She laughs. “And it’s never a fully hopeless situation, because I’ll always have some support.”;
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But with growing fame comes a lifestyle that will make it more difficult to maintain the same level of closeness to her family, who are at the root of what Tinashe represents.
“Everyone wants to think that everything you do is a direct reflection of who you are,” she says. “It’s not always that deep. I’ve definitely had a particular life that many haven’t. I think that it’s important to share your story but also to be able to find the relatability [in the stories of others]. Because it’s important to me to be able to relate to my fans.”