R&B star Tinashe on the special reason her music connects with the queer community

Tinashe performs during OutLoud at WeHo Pride 2023.

R&B star Tinashe has opened up about her connection to the LGBTQ+ community as she performs at Pride events across the US.

Tinashe has long been a vocal advocate of the LGBTQ+ community, whether she’s standing up to JK Rowling over the author’s controversial trans comments or advocating for same-sex marriage equality as far back as 2009 – when she was just 16.

Since it’s Pride month, the queer hit-maker is showing up for the community once more by performing at events such as Wynwood Pride in Miami and West Hollywood’s annual celebration.

While preparing for her set during Outloud at WeHo Pride on 2 June, she spoke to Billboard about why her music is so popular with the LGBTQ+ community.

“It’s just a sense of ‘unapologeticness’ and that bad-b***h unapologetic energy,” she said. “Who doesn’t like that?”

She has a particular love of performing at Pride events because “the audience is ready to party, everyone is here with great energy and great excitement”, she added.

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The singer’s love for the queer community doesn’t end there. During a time when anti-drag bills are being rolled out across the US, Tinashe is showering drag artists with praise for their excellent impressions of her and her music.

“Any time I put out a new song, I love seeing [drag artists perform them],” she said. “At first, you’re like, ‘Wait, was that [me]?’ You have that double-take moment. Shout out to the drag community. Shout out to the trans community.”

As for what the most important aspect of her creative process is, Tinashe said: “Authenticity is the biggest thing that is important to me. You can never fake it if you are really yourself and make art you believe in.

“When you represent yourself and what your instincts tell you, you are on the right track.”

Tinashe has never been afraid to be fully herself, no matter what society tells her. In 2020, she explained her relationship with “labels”.

Speaking to Gay Times, she said: “I tend to shy away from terms – I guess this is the theme of my life. Human beings are so versatile. I don’t understand why we’re so obsessed with categorising [one another].

“There are so many f**king stereotypes about being bisexual that made me want to shy away from talking about it. I’m much more open to having those discussions now.”

Tinashe, who released her latest album, 333, to rave reviews in 2021, also hinted at the possibility of new music on the horizon.

“It’s a little bit of a melting pot which is very true to the type of music I am making,” she told Billboard. “I like to draw influence from different places. Electronic music, R&B, pop – all of these influences in this new music. Very base, lots of percussion, lots of angelic vocals.”

Tinashe is currently appearing as a contestant in Fox’s reality series Stars on Mars.