Jhené Aiko returns with a music video for “Maniac,” a song she released back in November 2015.
In the dark and dreary clip, which Aiko directed along with Topshelf Junior, the West Coast songstress is gagged and strapped to a hospital bed as she sings about being a psycho. As she moves about the building, you get the feeling that you’re watching a scary movie or American Horror Story. Things go from crazy to insanely sexy in the end as she straddles a mannequin.
“There are so many layers to my personality. One of them is very sexual and ‘Maniac’ is me sharing that side of myself,” Aiko tells Rolling Stone. “When I started putting together the concept for the ‘Maniac’ visual, I wanted to explore what it meant to be manic.” To that end, the singer researched old asylums, watched movies on the topic and learned the “bizarre techniques that were used back in the day to treat mental patients.”
“I learned that lots of women were admitted for absurd reasons, including being ‘nymphomaniacs’ and were basically tortured in the name of treatment,” she adds. “Ironically, I released ‘Maniac’ at a time where I had recently been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, so my interest in the research was genuine. I think we all have some sort of imbalance, but I also believe that we can overcome it. I find my balance through creating art. The ‘Maniac’ visual is the story of a mental patient who finds her own cure.”
“Maniac” will is the first single from Aiko’s forthcoming sophomore album, the follow-up to her 2014 offering, Souled Out, arriving soon. She’s also prepping the sequel to her and Big Sean’s Twenty88 project.