Released: October 3, 2014
Genre: R&B • alternative R&B • pop
Producer: Blood Diamonds, Boi-1da, Jasper Cameron, Cashmere Cat, Evian Christ, DJ Dahi, Detail, Legacy, Dijon “DJ Mustard” McFarlane, Michel, Mike Will Made It, Nic Nac, Osinachi Nwaneri, The Order, Redwine, Ritz Reynolds, Stargate, SykSense, Tinashe, DJ Marley Waters
Tinashe is such a talented star in the making. A singer, songwriter, dancer, record producer and actress from Kentucky, Tinashe grew up being a child actor and was in a girl group before it disbanded and she embarked on her solo career. Her first three mixtapes In Case We Die, Reverie & Black Water were released to wave reviews (as they should).
Tinashe released her debut studio album Aquarius on October 3, 2014 on the RCA Record label.
Titled after Tinashe’s zodiac sign, the album contains several genres of R&B, alternative R&B and pop. Tinashe refrained from listening to music during the album’s conception so it wouldn’t draw many comparisons to any other artist’s work. Aquarius did just that because it is truly one of the most amazing albums I’ve ever heard in a really long time. The album peaked at number three on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums & number seventeen on the Billboard 200 charts respectively.
The album was so different from anything I’ve ever heard from this new generation of artists, and I think this is what drew me to love Tinashe and her artistry. It gave me Janet Jackson’s The Velvet Rope meets Aaliyah’s self-titled album in the 2010s from a production standpoint. Flawless record all around if you ask me.
Written by Tinashe Kachingwe and Brent Reynolds
The album begins with the title track that introduces you to the artist that is Tinashe. From the dreamy and space like production, to the lyrics…it is a true gem.
Bet featuring Devonté Hynes
Written by Tinashe Kachingwe, Dacoury Natche & Michael Tucker
Everything about Bet is flawless. Devonté Hynes from Blood Orange performing the guitar outro. The lyrical content & the Janet Jackson Velvet Rope influences. Just a true gem. 🥰
Written by Tinashe Kachingwe, Matthew Samuels & Joshua Scruggs
Cold Sweat is Tinashe’s favorite song on the project and rightfully so. Tinashe speaks of how people deal with you when you gain fame and only want to be your friend when its beneficial to them. Tinashe also speaks about how isolated you have to be in the music industry because everyone has hidden agendas and how they move differently. The pressures of the entertainment industry is also a topic of discussion.
Written by Tinashe Kachingwe
The introduction to the next song, 2 On.
2 On featuring Schoolboy Q
Written by Tinashe Kachingwe, Bobby Brackens, Dijon McFarlane, Jon Redwine, Brendon Waters, Quincy Hanley, Cezar Cunningham, Sean Paul Henriques, Steven Marsden, Delano Thomas, Michael Jarret & Craig Serani Marsh, Nathan Walker, Troy Rami
The lead single off of the album, 2 On is a song about letting loose and having some fun and being fearless about living your life to the best of your ability. The song contains a sample of Sean Paul’s We Be Burnin’, and is Tinashe’s biggest hit to date..peaking at number five on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and number twenty four on the Billboard Hot 100 charts respectively.
How Many Times featuring Future
Written by Tinashe Kachingwe, Jasper Cameron, Sean Notty, Nayvadius Wilburn, James Harris III & Terry Lewis
One of my favorite highlights from Aquarius is How Many Times. The song is built around a sample of Janet Jackson’s 1987 single Funny How Time Flies (When You’re Having Fun). RCA truly fumbled the bag not making this gem a single for the album, because it would’ve been so GREAT for quiet storm and contemporary R&B radio stations!
What Is There to Lose (Interlude)
Written by Tinashe Kachingwe & Anthony Thomas
What is reality?
What is the truth, if truth is subjective?
In a world so overcome with hatred and greed
What is there to lose in love?
Pretend featuring ASAP Rocky
Written by Tinashe Kachingwe, Noel Fisher, Brian Soko, Rasool Diaz, Andre Proctor, Lyrica Anderson, Rakim Mayers & Floyd Bentley
Pretend is a nice bop!! Tinashe states that the song is about pretending that everything is okay when it really isn’t. We live in the world where facades and living in a fantasy is kind of the norm, and not the TRUE reality. We also keep that logic into relationships. The song peaked in the top 40 on the US & UK R&B charts.
All Hands on Deck
Written by Tinashe Kachingwe, Mikkel Storleer Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen, Magnus August Høiberg & Bleta Rexha
All Hands On Deck is truly pop perfection, and I feel every lyric in my spirit. It is a song about feeling free after being wrong or getting ghosted. You kind of evolve and take the loss as a win and a lesson. The song peaked in the top 40 on the US & UK R&B charts.
Indigo Child (Interlude)
Written by Tinashe Kachingwe & Joshua Leary
Far Side of the Moon 🌚
Written by Tinashe Kachingwe & Osinachi Nwaneri
Maybe we could be perfect…..
Far Side of the Moon is totally one of my favorite songs from Tinashe. She really did every ounce of that! From a lyrical standpoint, the song is about being fed up and learning how to move on from foolishness.
The Calm (Interlude)
Feels Like Vegas
Written by Tinashe Kachingwe, Mikkel Storleer Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen, Maureen McDonald & Jeffery Johnson Jr
I love Feels Like Vegas! Tinashe puts on a show for her man and shows him her raunchy and exhilarating side. She rearranges everything to make the setup look like Vegas! I know that’s right!
Written by Tinashe Kachingwe, Michael Williams II, Asheton Hogan & Kalenna Harper
Thug Cry is a song! I love this record because what she’s basically saying that she can make the toughest guy fall under her wraps. And that’s on Mary had a little lamb!
Deep in the Night (Interlude)
Written by Tinashe Kachingwe
Sometimes I feel like I’m alone, but you are there
I’ll stay real close to you. Sometimes I feel like I’m alone
Since you are there, I’ll stay real close to you
Written by Tinashe Kachingwe & Brent Reynolds
Bated Breath is another gem on this album that you cannot sleep on. We’ve all felt like being to scared to allow love to find us because we don’t have the courage to even tell that person how we feel in our heart, and it’s really crazy how Tinashe really makes relatable music that we can truly feel.
Written by Michel Heyaca, Matt Parad & Donna Missal
You’re poison running through my veins. End it with a spark into a pool of gasoline.
The final song on the album concludes with Wildfire, which is about ending a toxic romance.
The Storm (Outro)
Written by Tinashe Kachingwe
The interlude that completes the album is basically like a follow up to the interlude on her Black Water mixtape project titled Before The Storm. The Storm is the sequel that lets her know that she is here to stay, and that she is!
PLEASE STOP SLEEPING ON THE GREATNESS THAT IS TINASHE!!! She is truly an icon in the making and Aquarius is only just the beginning. Tinashe will have an amazing career in the long run. This influential album is proof of that. -MJ