Image courtesy: Billboard

The 28-year-old R&B star, Tinashe dropped her highly anticipated fifth studio album “333” on the 6th of August this year. It’s an extension of her spiritual and evolved self which consists of 16 tracks and is available on streaming platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, YouTube Music, Pandora, Napster, Deezer and Soundcloud. Guest stars include Jeremih on track “X,” Kaytranada on “Unconditional,” Kaash Paige on “Angels,” Wax Motif on “Undo,” Buddy on “Pasadena” and her two younger brothers, Quiet Child and Kudzai on “It’s a Wrap.”

The California-based singer shared her “333” album artwork on Instagram which features the artist donning an opened third eye on her forehead and crouching naked with long black hair and long transparent gloves on a hole cement structure amidst nature. The back cover of her album features an eye on the inside of her hand.

 “333” album cover
 Image courtesy: Revolt TV
Back album cover of ‘333’
Image courtesy: Capital News

One cannot deny the spiritual symbolism in the album cover that evidently matches the title of the album ‘333’, which is in turn inspired by the singer’s Life Path number 3. She was born on the 6th of February,1993. Apparently, individuals possessing this Life Path number are capable of creative self-expression, independence and playfulness. When the number 3 is repeated thrice, it becomes 333 which is an ‘Angel Number’. Angel numbers such as 111, 222 and 333 are considered highly propitious, and seeing them frequently is apparently indicative of divine blessings to come. Keeping this in mind, she is embracing her creative roots which means we are certainly in for a special treat with this LP.  

During a recent interview with POPSUGAR, she shed light on the unique meaning behind the album. She explained how it is an “evolution into the future.” According to her, 333 explores the intersection between spirituality and virtual reality. “That process of moving forward, finding yourself, letting go, and evolving,” she added.

Serving as the follow up to her 2019 album Songs For YouTinashe has outdone herself with her creativity. Of course, she is more than capable of doing so, but this album just hits different. The album highlights a newfound clarity about her purpose both as an artist and a person.

Recently, Tinashe discussed her inspiration behind her album’s title with Grammy: “It’s been a journey for me to always remember that I am on the right path and that I’m always moving towards my ultimate goal. I have to be focused on that as opposed to getting lost in the sauce, whether that be in streaming numbers or competing for chart positions. These are things we can get caught up with when we’re public music artists and wanting to be successful. I think those things can derail you from your true purpose.”

Stills from the music video- ‘Bouncin’
Image courtesy: SWGRUS

The singer-songwriter who terminated her record deal with RCA Records in 2019, released 333 independently under her own label, Tinashe Music. 

“I’m glad that it’s noticeable because I certainly feel a big difference,” Tinashe tells GRAMMY.com about her transition to artistic independence. “But at the same time, there was a lot of uncertainty of not really knowing how people would react to my [new] music, not knowing where I was getting the budget for things I wanted to create, and just how everything was going to work.”

“Over the course of the last two years, there’s been a lot of growth for me,” she continues. “I really feel at peace with where I’m at in my career and excited about the fact that I’m able to make my own creative decisions. It’s empowering. I’m feeling a lot more inspired and joyful in alignment with what I’m meant to be doing.”

“This album is high energy, hopeful, exciting and experimental. It’s taking risks, which I love. It’s hard for me to put my music in a genre because it’s hard to put it in a box. There’s a lot of pop, R&B, soul influences and video game sounds on this album. It’s a wide variety, but that’s me. The closest is alternative pop.she says in an interview with Billboard.

Discussing about the themes in her song, she said that her spirituality was something she was focused on during lockdown while she was creating this project. She wanted to incorporate those themes as it was important for her to feel guided and that she was on the right path.

According to her, the song “Small Reminders” was the most challenging song to complete because it had four different versions and until this day, it still has three different sections to it with distinct different parts. It has a tone of reflectiveness and somberness but at the same time, hopefulness. Her single ‘Pasadena’ was named after the city she grew up in because she feels that it’s imperative to acknowledge where you have come from when you talk about where you are going. “The song has the energy of moving into the future and acknowledging where we’ve come from and what we’ve done to get here.” she says.

Pasadena music video
Image courtesy: Teco Apple

Tinasha is all set to go on a US tour in September along with South Korean alt-pop musician Rei Ami as the supporting act.

The album’s two lead singles, “Pasadena” and “Bouncin”, have already been released with accompanying music videos. 

 Listen to the album’s promotional single, ‘I can see the future’ below:

—Silviya Yohannan