JOHANNESBURG, (The Southern African Times) – Born on the 8th of April 1991, Tinashe Masawi started off her musical career in Harare, Zimbabwe. She started off her theatrical career at Reps Theatre and 7Arts, participating musical plays around 2010. She appeared at the world-famous Teatro Royale and the Gran Teatro Liceu in Spain, backed by a 60 piece orchestra. Before she relocated to Spain she performed and toured with Jazz Invitation for almost three years. She started releasing music through Showtime Records where she worked with Reverb7, Courtney Rusike, Simba Tagz, Fungai Nengare, among others. The musician, actress and model is the epitome of chic, from her hair and beauty looks to her effortless, edgy ensembles.
There are currently a lot of Zimbabwean artists I’m shifting towards the AfroPop and Afro Dance music with some moving from the seemingly faltering dancehall music. However, in the last few years since the genre of Afrocentric music took top tier, some of the Zimbabwean artists have taken on a special significance to the way the world considers and consumes music.
There are artists whose creative work has proven to be especially influential, expanding genres or creating entirely new ones. There are others whose outsized impact has shaped the music industry and popular culture at large. There are the Amapiano pioneers and those who have been awarded Best New Music, with records that have defined the local music scene and particular parts of the world. A typical example would be ShaSha, who has made waves with the advent of Amapiano music. She won a whole BET award and is definitely a people’s favourite in South Africa! However, there is not much news coverage of Zimbabwean artists who are doing great in the diaspora, particularly the women!
Perhaps the Zimbabwean artists in the diaspora come off as a bit highbrow and tend to lose touch with the reality on the Zimbabwean ground and their music does not resonate with the realities of Zimbabwean people within the country. The Southern African Times caught up with Zimbabwean born, Barcelona- based actress, model and RnB singer Tina Masawi whose music visuals are enjoying great rotation on Trace Africa and MTv yet not much is being said about her on the Zimbabwean physical and social media “streets”. Needless to mention her ZimStars awards 2020 nomination in the Best Diaspora Artist category.
According to Tina, every place on the planet exudes different types of energy which artists generally conform and respond to in their music. Being in Spain has opened Tina’s eyes as far as exposure to different people is concerned. RnB does not thrive well in areas like Spain but Tina is grateful to the people in Spain for working with her and accepting the African sound and musical aura that she presents. Tina reiterated the ups and downs of the music industry are almost uniform regardless of an artist’s geolocation. She further mentioned the mammoth task that the background of musical projects present.
During the interview with The Southern African Times broke the news of a new musical video which she is set to release on her birthday for a song called Issues, “I actually have two visual projects coming out and you´re the first to know that they will be ready early next month (April) and early May. Very exciting months ahead!” She also hinted on possible collaborations which will definitely bolster her growing discography.
Tina describes the best part of musical artistry as being guided by a “beautiful relationship between complete discipline and complete freedom.” Freedom came naturally to her, having grown up in Zimbabwe under the influence of urban grooves music and punk collectives; she expresses discipline in the rigour and vision of her music vides. She has united electronic innovation, audio-visual experiments, radical new performance modes, scientific investigation, and naked emotional expression in one dazzling catalogue, becoming one of the most promising stars of our era in the process. ” Don’t be afraid to take up space, take time to know yourself, embrace your individuality because every day there will be someone telling you who to be.” she says. But such is the African way of life though, there is always someone who thinks they know better.
In her latest offering, Old school love, it is hard not to reference the synth pop and smooth rap of the ’90s Lauryn Hill when contextualizing Tina’s musical aesthetic—she uses a typical Lauryn Hill type of dressing and rap style to express a particular kind of sleazy, noir-ish longing, a yearn for anachronistic romance. Perhaps her best offering yet – of course we still need to await the imminent new projects.