Tinashe says former label forced collaborations with R. Kelly, Chris Brown

Written by on September 15, 2023

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Tinashe recently spoke about joint efforts with singers R. Kelly and Chris Brown, stating her former record label forced the two collaborations.

During a recent interview on “The Zach Sang Show,” Tinashe addressed a question of label interference regarding a song she recorded with R. Kelly. Tinashe replied to the question with laughter before implying that it wasn’t her choice to record with the disgraced R&B singer-songwriter.

“I literally block out that R. Kelly song from my mind — I forget that it even exists,” Tinashe said. “That is so embarrassing. That is so unreal that I even have a song with R. Kelly.”

Tinashe appeared as a featured vocalist on Kelly’s “Let’s Be Real Now” from his 2013 album, “The Buffet.” Both artists were signed to RCA Records at the time. The “2 On” singer noted the label decided to have her record the song with Kelly, which she says occurred when she was 20 and shortly after first signing with the company.

Spotify Presents: The Feelin’ Myself Fashion Show
Tinashe attends “Spotify Presents: The Feelin’ Myself Fashion Show” on March 16, 2023, at Sunset Room Hollywood in Los Angeles. (Photo by Presley Ann/Getty Images for Spotify)

She mentioned having little to no control over who she collaborated with during her time with RCA, particularly regarding single releases. She cited “Player,” a 2015 single featuring Chris Brown, as an example. While she and RCA wanted to achieve pop success, they disagreed about using Brown as a guest, suggesting that his voice didn’t fit the song.

“I was like, ‘Well, this is a pop song, so I really don’t feel like we should put Chris on it like that,” Tinashe said of “Player.” “‘I don’t like that. That doesn’t compute to me.’” The song failed to reach the Billboard Hot 100 chart and peaked at No. 39 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop chart.

Tinashe left RCA in 2019, according to Rolling Stone. She released her seventh album, “BB/ANG3L,” on Sept. 8 via Nice Life Records. The project has seven tracks without any featured guests.

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