Tinashe On Nicki Minaj’s Best Quality: ‘She’s Unapologetic’

T shares the female empowerment lesson she learned from touring with Nicki.

As we previously saw in the trippy trailer for her upcoming album Joyride, Tinashe is on a fierce streak of reinvention. “Motherf—kers, I can’t be ignored,” she declared in the clip, sending a clear message about her “new era.”

In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, the 22-year-old explained the motivation for flaunting that unabashed confidence, saying, “I realized that was just genuinely how I felt. That [message] is relatable, especially for young women that sometimes feel under-appreciated for our accomplishments.”

One thing that’s helped Tinashe boost her spirit of self-empowerment is surrounding herself with supportive and like-minded peers in the music industry. She recently toured on Nicki Minaj’s Pinkprint Tour, and is also joining Katy Perry on her South American dates this fall.

“I really learned Nicki has an ability to be unapologetic. I find that really special,” Tinahse said. “I’m trying to encourage that in the industry. I feel like there’s been a lack in the past, especially in the recent past of women supporting other women artists.”

She has a valid point. In the past few months, we’ve seen female artists being thrust into competition time and time again: Taylor vs. Katy, Nicki vs. Miley… the drama-fueled narratives are the same every time. But Tinashe says they don’t tell the whole story, and that there are plenty of examples of women empowering fellow women — as evidenced by her choice of recent tour mates.

“People in the media tend to pit us against one another,” she said. “It’s great and exciting to support each other and go on tour with each other and collaborate with each other. More of it should happen.”

The “Player” singer also preached an important reminder that women, especially, shouldn’t be praised only for their looks. Because, as she’s proven, there’s more to her than meets the eye.

“A lot of times … if you’re a young girl, or if people think you’re cute, they’re like, ‘Oh that’s why you are where you are, not because of your talent or your work ethic – it’s just about your looks,’” she said. “For me, it’s important for people to know I worked really hard as far as every creative decision I made on my music, I’m behind it every step of the way.”