BeatRoute Magazine is a monthly arts and entertainment paper based in Western Canada with a predominant focus on music – local, independent or otherwise.
ELECTRONICS DEPARTMENT TINASHE climbing the ranks in style by Chris Jimenez Tinashe Jorgenson Kachingwe is currently on the ride of her life. The eldest of three siblings, the 22-year-old rising R&B artist has been climbing the ranks of the music industry with ease and style since diving into the entertainment industry at the age of six. In 2007 Tinashe joined a five-piece pop group named The Stunners, maturing her artistic chops until the group elevated their music career, touring as the opening act for Justin Bieber’s My World Tour in 2010 on 20 tour dates. When the tour ended The Stunners split and Tinashe moved forward as an independent artist, releasing her debut bedroom-recorded mixtape, In Case We Die, later that year. Tinashe’s hard work gained her the attention of RCA Records, who then released three additional mixtapes plus her debut out-of-the-bedroom solo album, Aquarius. Tinashe reflects on the difference between recording in her bedroom to recording in big studios and the loss of intimacy. “There’s always something special about having that home studio oneon-one uninterrupted vibe. I do think we have lost some intimacy but at the same time I’m still able to record music in my home studio and still able to get that kind of DIY feel. My set up is a U87 with a couple Neve preamps and a Duet. It’s not super decked out but you don’t really need too much to have high quality music,” she says. Tinashe is currently touring to promote her soon to be released album Joyride. Travelling to Europe, Asia, and North America, she tries to keep strong contact with her family during this busy time. “For me I think I try to involve them as much as possible, I’ll bring my brothers and parents out to as many shows as much as they can. They are huge fans and super supportive, so it’s not so hard to keep up with the family.” Tinashe continues to get her feet wet in many genres, embracing her pop side from her days spent with The Stunners, performing covers such as “I Wanna Get Better” by The Bleachers, all while adding her own R&B tonality. “One of my favourite things about the type of artist I try to be is that I don’t fit into any specific box or a particular category. I try to take inspiration of different genres and kind of mold them together and create my own thing.” The dedicated approach of Tinashe’s hard work continues to inspire fans and show them anything can happen when working out of your bedroom, learning how to record and mix from Youtube tutorials. We ended the interview with Tinashe expressing her mindset of songwriting on tour and how different it would be from the Aquarius tour. “I continue to stay inspired, so if an idea comes to mind then I’ll definitely write it down or work on it or if I have a day off I’ll go to the studio, but for the most part being on the tour I’m mainly focused on the tour and promoting the new music from Joyride, so I’m excited to share that new stuff [with] people like ‘Fires and Flames.’ I think we tried to up our ante, I want it bigger and better this time around. I want it to really feel like a stadium show in an intimate environment.” Tinashe performs at the Vogue Theatre on April 10 Tinashe wants to take you on a Joyride with her new stage show. 16 APRIL 2016 • electronics department
FLOATING POINTS chasing perfection in experimentation Seated in his London-based studio against a backdrop of synthesizers with notes taped to the wall, it’s immediately evident that Sam Shepherd (aka Floating Points) is a man completely immersed in his passion for music. This is a man, after all, who has designed his own ultra-high end DJ mixer in an ongoing hunt for perfection in live sound. Although he has been a highly regarded figure in electronic music for several years following the 2009 releases of Love Me Like This and the Vacuum EP, it’s since finishing his doctorate in Neuroscience that he seems to have finally had the time to fully commit to this lifelong passion. It is fitting then that his latest LP, Elaenia, is comprised of some of his most absorbing and personal music to date. Written for an evolving full band and taking inspiration from classical jazz, electronic music, soul, and even Brazilian pop music, it’s a testament to Shepherd’s musical intuition his ability to make something so personally controlled sound so alive and experimental on record. “It sounds like there’s a lot of freedom in the record,” says Shepherd. “I mean I played a lot of the instruments on it, so a lot of the synthesizers and all that stuff, and they were all improvised, and then the stuff that was written down strictly was all the string parts and things like that, they were scored out. Things like the bass line on it, I’d actually already recorded it myself, playing it myself, and the drums as well, and with the bass part I actually wrote a score and was like, ‘I want you to play it exactly like I played it, but better’. I’m not a guitarist so I just played him the bass line on a single string, because I don’t play, but I had a bass guitar at the time with one string working, so I played the whole bass line on the low string — It doesn’t actually sound that terrible!” by Andy Soloman Despite the painstaking attention to detail evident in Elaenia, the sonic and emotional range is best experienced in one complete sitting. For Shepherd it very much continues to be an evolving project - changing and developing as it travels through different venues in a live setting. “It’s the first time I’ve been able to do it properly, now that I’ve got help. I’ve got a sound engineer, I’ve got monitors, and I’ve got technicians and all this stuff. I can actually focus on the music and I can be a bit more free to do the music I actually want to do. And yeah, I think it’s irreversible at this point, because now I can have like, two marimbas and a whole horn section and things like this, and I’m definitely going to continue to evolve it. So in fact this tour we’re going to do in North America is going to be with an additional guitar - just to keep things evolving and moving and changing, and interesting to perform. The show is changing all the time, the music is changing.” According to Shepherd the only way to keep things fresh and floating is to keep on writing, something that he’s happy to do now that he has more time to embrace his creative side. “I’ve been writing some new music this week that I’d like to try out with the band, and we’ll see how it goes. I like the idea of it actually evolving on stage, and the stage being used as an exhibition for the music, but also as a place that we can experiment with it, because I think those are the times when the most exciting things can happen,” he says. “It could also go either way, who knows. But it’s exciting and it’s definitely interesting. I don’t like the idea of just going out like a machine and just playing the same dots that I’ve played before - it has to keep changing to keep it interesting.” Floating Points performs live at Celebrities on May 4 photo: Renee Stamatis Floating Points live show is an ever evolving, ever changing beast.