“I’m a mixed woman, and sometimes I feel like I don’t fully fit into the black community” Singer Tinashe Says Colourism Has Negatively Affected Her Career

“If you’re a Black singer, you’re either Beyonce or Rihanna”

In a recent interview with UK newspaper, The Guardian, Tinashe details her struggles in the music industry. Her sophomore album, Joyride, has yet to be released, and she has a few thoughts as to why.

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“There’s a lot of sexism in the music business…It’s so much easier for male artists, I know it is”.

She expounded on this by citing the rivalry and competition placed upon Black female artists.

“Recently, my cousin was with a friend of a friend, who was in high school, and she was like: ‘I’m a fan of Kehlani,’ but in a way that was like, ‘So I can’t be a fan of Tinashe, too.’  Then my friend posed the question, ‘Why not be a fan of both?’ It’s kind of like sport; people feel like they have to pick a side.”

She continued:

“There are hundreds of [male] rappers that all look the same, that sound  the same, but if you’re a black woman, you’re either Beyoncé or Rihanna. It’s very, very strange.”

The “2 on” singer says she feels that that her quest for success has been further complicated by her biracial heritage.

“There’s colourism involved in the black community, which is very apparent,” she says carefully. “It’s about trying to find a balance where I’m a mixed woman, and sometimes I feel like I don’t fully fit into the black community; they don’t fully accept me, even though I see myself as a black woman. That disconnect is confusing sometimes. I am what I am.”

On Twitter, however, the singer maintains that her words regarding colorism were taken out of context.


Welp, she has certainly left fans with a lot to digest. Sexism has been cited by several artists and entertainers throughout the years. It plagues both Hollywood and the music industry. Colorism however is more of a hushed subject. It is interesting to see a biracial artist cite this as an issue. From Mariah Carey to Alicia Keys, it hasn’t seemed to be a problem for other artists. Perhaps Tinashe’s issues are directly related to artistry, not gender or race.

Thoughts? Sound off below!


  1. I think it’s wrong to dismiss her feelings toward her personal experience simply because it offends the senses. Colorism is real and if she feels it has created a struggle in her life and career those feelings are probably well founded.

  2. I think it’s her music. Colorism has always been an issue, however, Tinashe isn’t the first biracial artist. So….I think it’s her and colorism is the scapegoat.

  3. She seems to benefit from America music industry skin color hierarchy.
    She is compared to people like Rihanna because it’s nothing she does to set herself apart…

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