Tinashe is bringing her sultry sound to New Zealand for the first time with a headlining slot at Splore. She talks to Rachel Bache.

With her sultry R&B sound, Tinashe Kachingwe will definitely be a singular presence at Splore.

But the Kentucky-born, Los Angeles-raised singer is looking forward to headlining the eclectic three-day festival's Saturday night line-up.

"It's amazing to be a part of festivals. It gives you a chance to be in front of new audiences and make new fans," the singer told TimeOut.

"It's really great to play among other awesome artists. It will be my first time in New Zealand and I'm definitely looking forward to it. It's somewhere I've always wanted to visit, so I can't wait.

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Known simply as Tinashe, she'll be joining a colossal festival that includes 300 home-grown and overseas acts including Mr Scruff, The Cat Empire, Kid Koala, Trinity Roots and The Phoenix Foundation.

The up-and-coming songstress has been making waves of late, featuring on tracks alongside the likes of Usher, Kid Ink, Nick Jonas (of the Jonas Brothers) and Calvin Harris.

With varying musical influences, from Michael and Janet Jackson to alternative contemporary artists James Blake and Little Dragon, Tinashe's unique blend of R&B, hip-hop and indie-alternative-pop is likely to bring a breath of fresh air to Splore goers.

"My show does have a lot of energy. I want people to get up on their seats. I want people to leave feeling really inspired. I love to sing Bated Breath live, which is really emotional, and All Hands On Deck. That's really fun for me.

"And obviously I love to perform 2 On," Tinashe says about her hit single, which has 57 million views on YouTube and featured on the American singer's debut album, Aquarius, released near the end of last year.

The track shows off the skills of rapper Schoolboy Q as well as a deep bass line that is deliciously juxtaposed with Tinashe's light, soft vocals.

Her music feels like a cross between R&B star Ciara and British trip-hop singer FKA Twigs, who graced the main-stage of Auckland's Laneway festival last month.

Though she is only just starting out on her first international tour - when TimeOut spoke to Tinashe she was getting ready to make her way to Dubai on her Aquarius world tour - the singer is no stranger to the limelight.

From a young age, the 22-year-old has had a desire to make music. And before she was making music Tinashe dipped her toe in the acting pool, with guest spots on Two and a Half Men and voice acting in Avatar: The Last Airbender cartoon.

"As a kid I did a lot of acting and stuff and that was fun for me as well but music has always been my biggest passion. I've always wanted to pursue music and I'm really happy that that's what I get to focus on," she says.

When it comes to her music the singer says, "I always try to just stick with my instincts, I really have to follow just what I want to hear.

"I really have to be hands-on in the process so that it really feels true to me."

Who: Tinashe
Where and when: Splore, Main Stage, 10pm, February 21
Also: Debut album Aquarius, out now

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- TimeOut