In life, sometimes it takes a bit of adversity, patience, and perseverance to begin to reach your full potential and reap the fruits of your labor. R&B songstress Tink is a prime example, as the Chicago native had to endure label drama, personal turmoil, and numerous false starts prior to finding her footing and identity as an artist.
However, those trials and tribulations have helped mold the highly-touted prospect into a budding star, with her latest offering, Heat of the Moment, set to confirm her arrival as a true force to be reckoned with. The project, which comes on the heels of her two 2020 releases Hopeless Romantic and A Gift & A Curse, finds Tink delivering her signature emotive testimonies albeit with a unique twist, as she’s joined forces with Hitmaka (formerly known as rapper Yung Berg) who oversaw the entirety of the production on Heat of the Moment.
With the assistance of her fellow Chicago native, Tink constructed what she deems her most ambitious body of work to date, straying outside of her comfort zone and embracing Hitmaka’s all-hands-on-deck style of creating. Boasting guest spots from Jeremih, Davido, Yung Bleu, and Kodak Black, Heat of the Moment arrives as Tink continues her ascent as an artist, and is a project that finds her making good on the promise that initially made tastemakers and music legends tag her as the future of R&B.
Tink spoke with us about creating Heat of the Moment, linking up with Hitmaka, overcoming the doubt and pressure that comes with expectations, and much more.
Last year you dropped two projects, Hopeless Romantic and A Gift & A Curse, during the COVID-19 pandemic. How did this past year affect you, as an artist and a person?
The past year, 2020 was different, I think for me, as an independent artist I really had to maneuver in different ways to keep the fans engaged but like you said, when I dropped Hopeless Romantic, that was right around the time that COVID had hit so I had a poor plan and I had a lot of things that I wanted to do so I had to kind’ve just hold off for a minute but by the end of the year, things were turning back around and I’m here with another album.
Your single, “Bottom Bi**h,” has become one of your biggest hits to date, can you talk about the inspiration behind that track?
Man, “Bottom Bi**h” is like so personal to me, it’s like an anthem for me because being from Chicago, we just have to maneuver a different way. So “Bottom Bitch” hit cause to me kind’ve embodies what a real woman should do for her man when he’s 100 with her and I think the females really relate to it cause it’s so personal.
The video is really how a female would act if she found out her nigga was messing with her while she trying to hold him down and you see in the video I kind’ve get locked up for my man and that just hit home for a lot of girls, I’m sure so I just wanted to keep it relatable and just touch on some real shit.
You recently released your new album, Heat of the Moment. What was the inspiration behind that title?
Heat of the Moment, I really wanted to just give people another side of me. My other protects are kind’ve like geared towards pain so Heat of the Moment was a vibe for the summer to close off the summer with it, I just wanted to give another taste of where my sound could go, working with Hitmaka was crazy, we really just got to experiment with so many records, tracks and producers so it’s really just like an elevation and like a second coming of Tink.
This project is entirely produced by Hitmaka, who’s helped scored some of the biggest hits in hip-hop and R&B in recent memory. How did the two of you link and what made y’all decide to work for a whole project?
Hitmaka actually has a deal with EMPIRE and that’s my distribution company, so of course, they linked us together. And we went into the studio just kind’ve optimistic about whatever and the first day, we were planning to do one record or a couple. And after the first session, he was like man, we gotta keep continuing to work and we really vibed with the sound so we decided to do an album. To me, that’s a big thing ’cause we’re both from Chicago and it’s a moment for the city in my eyes, too.
What was the creative process in making this album and what new wrinkles did Hitmaka add?
The process was really different for me, I’m usually kind’ve like real private about my albums and it’s normally a small group, just me and my management maybe that knows what we’re doing, but working with Hitmaka, he has a team around him that shares ideas and they really work sun up to sun down on projects and that was different for me, it was a good experience to just work with a group of talented musicians and artists and that was just totally different and to me, that’s what I think he really brought to my world. For me, music is really personal and keep it a lot about my stories and my situations and when Hitmaka came in just throwing different ideas at me. So it’s definitely a different sound for me.
You recently released your single, “Selfish” featuring Young Bleu. How did that collaboration come about and what was the chemistry like between you and Bleu?
So me and Young Bleu, we actually met a while ago. He came to Chicago and we got in the studio like two years ago, but the record had never came out, but this time it’s a full circle with him also being at EMPIRE. And I cut the record and it really needed a feature, so Hitmaka kind’ve just pulls up and he makes magic wherever he go, so he dropped the record to Yung Bleu and he fucked with it. I think he sent it back maybe the next day or maybe two days, he sent it right back and it was just a vibe. “Selfish,” to me, it gives you a taste of mainstream Tink and also the outro feels like Winter’s Diary Tink, so that’s why I really like that record, too.
“Rebel” finds you reconnecting with Jeremih, one of your earliest collaborators. Describe your working and personal relationship with Jeremih and how that song came to life?
Jeremih is like big homie, he’s been showing love since for forever. He actually gave me my first big a** hit, “Don’t Tell Nobody,” we dropped maybe in 2013. So when Hitmaka had the idea to put Jeremih in, I was excited ’cause it’s been a minute since we collabed again. Jeremih, he’s so supportive of Chicago artists and he really vibes with the city so it’s a great look and I’m be honored to work with him every time.
Another standout guest on the album is Davido, who appears on the song “Might Let You.” What was it like creating that song with him?
Davido is an international legend in my eyes. I was a big fan of his before we put the record together and we was vibing with the track and felt like a reggae vibe and I’m like, ‘Man, we might have to rally hit Davido and see if he likes it,’ but it was love. Just off the strength of Hitmaka being involved, everybody is excited, so it came together just off of the strength.
What are three songs from Heat of the Moment you’re eager for fans to hear and why?
Number one is “Prove It,” it’s my favorite song on the album. It’s one of the harder records, but I know my girls are gonna love it. Also, there’s a record called “Dangerous,” I always have to have a song about my heartbreak situation and that’s for my ladies, too. And then if I had a third song, I would have to say “Chasing” and that’s a record for my ladies, too. And it’s basically saying that we not chasing no niggas or we not wasting any more time running behind nobody.
How would you say this album differs from your previous releases?
To me, it’s just a feel-good album. Like I said, I wanted to just show some diversity with my sound. On my other albums, I really like to touch on the struggle and pain and this album, it also touches on those emotions, but it feels good, you can tell the space that I’m in is much better. It’s almost like an album that puts you at ease. It’s the Heat of the Moment and to me, it’s just a summer vibe.
You’re a vet in the game, with multiple accolades under your belt, but are still considered one of the rising stars in R&B and hip-hop. How does it feel to have paid your dues and have so much skin in the game, but still be considered a fresh face in the industry?
Yeah, to me it’s not a bad thing in my eyes. Before when I was dropping music, I was really young. I was kind’ve fresh out of high school and I was making decisions just kind’ve trying to find my way. And for me, it’s like now where I’m at in my life, I’m more structured and I know where I wanna go with the music. And I don’t mind being looked at as like a fresher me cause it is almost like a reinvention of myself so to me, I don’t mind that. It’s a new me, it’s an elevation and it’s a lot of growth and it would seem like that.
Being that it’s taken you a few years to really hit your stride and find your footing as an artist, were there any times that you felt the pressure to perform or live up to the hype and did that take a toll on you?
Always. I think that pressure is like a good pressure, ’cause it kind’ve keeps me focused and makes me wanna go harder. The pressure is always there for me ’cause I’m really in tune with my music and I care, but for the most part, I use it as motivation. For a while, like in 2015, I had my situation with my label. I couldn’t let that affect how I was moving and for me now, it’s like I gotta stay focused on what I gotta do. You feel me?
Yea but enough is enough …ITs TIME ! …. Award shows,big features,more magazine covers ,more media …ITS YOUR TIME it been your time .You deserve ! https://t.co/UBXPRUc0Cx
— iamcardib (@iamcardib) February 27, 2021
You recently received cosigns from Cardi B, JT of City Girls, and Toosi, who all consider you to be on the cusp of becoming a household [name]. What was your reaction to those compliments and how does it feel to have some of the top artists in the industry sing your praises?
That meant everything to me. Support in the game is rare and I think that’s just cause it’s so competitive, so for me just to see some A-List artists that don’t really have to give a fuck just stand up and say, ‘Hey, Tink is talented, she deserves, she deserves her time and shine,’ I thought that was really bold. And like I said, it’s rare in the game and I appreciate things like that ’cause like you said, I have been doing it for a minute so it feels good to be recognized.
Being that Chicago is known for its soul, how does it feel creating music with your fellow hometown heroes and waving the flag for the new generation of artists from the city?
That’s what makes it so special to me. I think that’s what we need more of in Chicago ’cause we have so many talented artists in Chicago and it’s like we wanna see more collaborations and I wanna work with more artists from the city that’s coming up. And it just makes us look good and it shows that unity that we should be giving each other, you know?
What’s next for Tink?
Of course, we’ve got the album Heat of the Moment, it’s out now, it’s available. The new video is actually out as well, “Heat of the Moment,” and just expect more music, more collaborations. I got some remixes in the works that’s gonna be crazy. It’s talks of a deluxe coming as well, so you just gotta stick with me and look out for everything that’s coming.