Tinashe Fazakerley and Rory Graham are not names that many people recognise. Both men are 32 years old and both are blessed with stand out voices that are capable of making the hairs on the back of your neck positively spring to life. Rory Graham is better known as Rag’n’Bone Man and has sprung to the public conscience with his huge hit ‘Human’ but today I am writing about his friend, and one time co-writer, who is now trying to make a similar leap. Having seen him last year at the Barn on the Farm Festival and last week at his homecoming gig at Heaven in London’s West End, I am confident it won’t be long before Tinashe’s stage name of Rationale will be equally well known and he will be winning BRITs just like his buddy Rory.
This latest reincarnation of Tinashe’s career seems to be the one that will bring him success. In the past he has released one eponymous album but with its different style it failed to tap into the interest of the wider public at large. He has written not only for Rag’n’Bone Man but also for producer Mark Crew who most famously worked on Bastille’s huge ‘Bad Blood’ album. It is this experience as a song writer for hire that seems to have enabled Tinashe to transform himself into Rationale. The first song he wrote as Rationale was called ‘The Mire’ and was an experiment at changing his erstwhile higher singing style into a deeper delivery. It was musical gold and has enabled Rationale to channel a sincerity and honesty that makes his new style impossible to ignore.
Last Wednesday at London’s Heaven Nightclub Rationale performed to a sell out crowd who were hanging on every heartfelt word and swaying and singing to order. In short Rationale had the audience in the palm of his hand. Maybe it’s the experiences and false dawns of days gone by, but there is a humility in this man that is palpable and gives his performance an almost spiritual feel.
Taking the opportunity to show case some new material alongside some fan favourites, Rationale performed in front of his stage name lit large in bright lights and didn’t disappoint. He described the reaction of the audience as ‘pure love’ and seemed genuinely moved by it. When I first saw Rationale play last summer at the Barn on the Farm he was equally emotional and maybe it is this determination to not take anything for granted that makes his very personal music so very accessible.
From the soulful ‘Palms’ and ‘Re-up’ to the driving beat of ‘Reciprocate’, from the heartfelt ‘Prodigal Son’ to the wonderful ‘Fast Lane’, from the sure-fire hit and maybe slightly autobiographical ‘Something For Nothing’ to the incredible climax of ‘Fuel To The Fire’, Rationale and his hugely talented band didn’t make a single miss-step in an evening that maybe had only one fault, it was over far too quickly!
This man surely has a huge future ahead of him and I can recommend seeing him perform live at any opportunity, If you can’t do that please check him out on Spotify and make sure you leave a Rationale sized hole in your music collection for his soon to be released debut release as Rationale.