Love Tinashe’s ‘Nasty’? There’s more where that came from

Jenessa Williams breaks down the ten best tracks by the freshly-viral R&B star


Have you been a nasty girl this summer? You might not have had much chance yet, but if you have been stuck indoors and online, there’s every chance that you might have spotted a clip of British Zumba instructor Nate, winding his waist and biting his finger as he gets down to some serious soca. 

The clip was originally uploaded last year to his dance account as a fairly innocuous form of self-promo, but for one reason or another, a Tinashe fan saw fit to re-edit with a clip of her new single, and the hottest meme of the summer was born: a spectacled white boy with impeccable rhythm and a chomped-on digit, imploring the listener to ‘match his freak.” 

With 10 million views and counting (plus a Marc Jacbos collaboration for Nate), the joyous clip has been a huge boost for the visibility of soca dance, but of course, also for Tinashe. With endorsements from Janet Jackson and Beyoncé, ‘Nasty’ was already working it’s way towards being a hit, but with this extra boost of viral visibility, Tinashe has made playful hay, releasing both a remix EP (featuring ‘Match My Sleek’, ‘Match My Tweak’ etc) as well as a line of ‘Nasty’ merch: thongs, jewellery, temporary tattoos. 


Her first ever solo entry on the Billboard Hot 100, ‘Nasty’’s success has put Tinashe’s name back on the map. But for those familiar with her work, its calibre is no fluke. Tinashe may not be a household name, but over the last decade, she’s become deeply beloved in the industry for the masterful way that she fuses pop and R&B in sexy, yet commercial ways, topping the whole thing off with some expert choreo.

If you were raised on the noughties diet of Ciara, Missy, and Brandy (or really love the work of Normani, Victoria Monet and Little Mix), there is every chance that Tinashe could tickle your fancy. With new album ‘Quantum Baby’ on the way,  It’s not too late to catch up on what you’ve missed. Here’s 10 of our Tinashe favourites that’ll match your freshly-discovered freak.  

2 On’ (2014)

Released as her debut single, ‘2 On’ beat will be instantly recognisable to anyone who likes to watch dance compilations (or K-Pop idol auditions), becoming something of a set text for contemporary R&B. SchoolBoy Q’s verse dialls up the heat, but it’s Tinashe who sets the pace, making it clear that she knows exactly how to get what she wants.  

Bouncin’’ (2021)

One of my personal favourite tracks of 2021, ‘Bouncin’’ is a criminally under-rated R&B hit, and an arguable blueprint for the kind of snappy rap-falsetto that Doja Cat employs across her more recent catalogue. It’s also a celebration of Tinashe’s ever-growing skills as a dancer – trampoline fitness has simply never looked so good. 

Unconditional (2021)

Teaming up with Kaytranada on production, ‘Unconditional’ comes from Tinashe’s independently-released record ‘333’, broadenly her palette and taking greater creative risks. On this track, she embraces a more romantic R&B diva vocal, attempting to understand the insecurities that are holding her partner back from realising how good they’ve got it: “I forgive you for whatever you’ve done to me/That’s how much I love you.

Cold Sweat’ (2015)

At the other end of the spectrum, ‘Cold Sweat’ slows things down and digs deep into Tinashe’s sultry lower register, establishing a late-night lo-fi vibe with added attitude. Listening in 2024, it feels like a prophecy in the making: “They realise that they love me/cos my time is finally coming”.

Needs’ (2023)

Many music videos have been filmed in grocery stores, but in committing so fully to her “my body is a buffet” lyric, Tinashe finds the perfect visual to accommodate this dose of feel-good, drop-top R&B. The overall effect is flirty and cute, easy to slip onto any summer playlist. 

All My Friends’ (2015)

Bet you forgot about this one, didn’t you? Technically a Snakehips song (and also featuring Chance The Rapper), ‘All My Friends’ was a big hit in 2015, capturing that moment at afters where everyone realises it might finally be time to go home and face that heartbreak which has been licking at the edges all night. Tinashe’s vocal is the centerpiece of the whole thing, layered to stirring proportions on the chorus. 

Jealous (Nick Jonas Remix)’ (2014)

Given that ‘Jealous’ is already a bit of a banger in it’s own right, this might feel like a cheat entry. But in matching the Jonas Brother’s powerful vocal with the other side of the story, Tinashe’s verse is a welcome layer of contrast, two lovers talking out their insecurities with believable passion. 

Talk To Me Nice’ (2023)

Peeling away her own layers, ‘Talk To Me Nice’ was a relatively subdued choice as a lead single for Tinashe’s BB/ANG3L album era, but once which the artist said revealed “the feeling of being on the edge of a relationship and looking at it with skepticism, self-preservation, and self-confidence.” Choppy, robotic production keeps it Tinashe, even as she tries out something new. 

Throw A Fit’ (2018)

Based on her bad-ass alter ego, ‘Throw A Fit’ sees the artist in ruthless mode, tossing out humble brags as a way of explaining that she does not need to rely on anybody else, but that she will be surprised if you aren’t compelled to buy her exactly what she wants regardless. With this much confidence, who would disagree?

Getting No Sleep’ (2024)

Fresh out this week, ‘Getting No Sleep’ tells a pretty standard Tinashe story of insatiable randiness, but there’s something in the production that still feel fresh and surprising; skittery electronics at one moment, pulsing neo-jazz at another. In setting the tone for ‘Quantum Baby’, it reveals another subtle reinvention, paving the way for exciting things to come.