Tinashe, a 21-year old pop star, gave one of the best pop performances in years on Jimmy Kimmel Live last Thursday. She performed her single "2 On," featuring Schoolboy Q, which peaked at no. 24 on the Billboard Hot 100. After producing three self-produced, critically acclaimed mixtapes Tinashe released Aquarius on October 7. "2 On" is the first single off of Aquarius, but it's not the song that makes this performance.
This performance shows off how much command Tinashe has over the stage. How much she is actually singing in this song is certainly open to debate, but as Vox has written before great pop stars don't need to sing. Great pop stars are made by performance and magnetism, and Tinashe has more than enough of those.
While pop stars like Ariana Grande have reduced their stage game to hairography, Tinashe is calculated. She covers an incredible amount of space on the stage in this performance. Her choreography is striking, and she is never overshadowed by background dancers. "2 On" seems made for the club scene, and she channels that energy on stage by using choreography that snaps between moves with a rigid fluidity. It's a smoother, less angular version of what we've seen Ciara do again and again.
Tinashe is by no means a household name or a radio mainstay. But watch this performance, and maybe you'll agree she looks like a young Britney, but possibly even better. That means something in pop. Aquarius probably won't be the album that makes Tinashe, but her stage presence might.
Correction: An earlier version of this article said Tinashe had produced two previous albums. She has produced three.