Jhene Aiko Talks New Album, Inspiration, and More

Singer-songwriter Jhene Aiko boasts an impressive fan base despite the lack of commercial push. The talented artist is back working on her second full length project as a follow up to her first “Sailing Souls” mixtape that gave us heartfelt, sassy tunes and introduced us to material that solidified her sound. Now the smooth-voiced songstress is working on a new project “Souled Out,” which she said is “like ‘Sailing Souls’ times 10” in an interview with NextInShow.com.

“I’m going to be even more personal. Even more heartfelt,” she explains. “The songs about life are going to be even more. Everything will be more. I have some songs on there that are going to be dark, really dark….On ‘Souled Out’ I’m going to really show off what I’m thinking about.” Aiko’s artistry is evident in her songwriting; even the title for her second project has a profound, spiritual meaning. “Sailing Souls” she says, means sailing one’s soul, or rising above negativity, instead of selling it. “Being free rather than having a price,” she explains. This comes from having dealt with record labels who wanted to change her image. “‘Souled Out’ is what happens after you Sail your Soul. You’re Souled Out and completely free. And your Soul is on an infinite free ride. ‘Souled Out’ will have a lot of my soul poured out into each track,” the spiritual songbird explained.

Her inspiration, she says, comes from everyday experiences and the feelings that spawn from those experiences. “I write for myself to help get through things, so I’m always inspired. Whether I’m happy or sad, or angry, there is always something to pull from.” And being a mother may definitely divvy up the creative inspiration to write about everyday emotions and struggles. The 24-year-old has a toddler-aged daughter named Namiko, and says the biggest obstacle she must overcome is balancing motherhood and doing what she does. “I don’t have a babysitter or anything like that. I have a great family and friends that help out when they can, but we are all out here trying to do our thing, surviving,” she states. It’s not so much a struggle, she says, but rather “a work in progress.”

Aiko is known for being somewhat of an anti-pop star. In a poem posted on Tumblr from 2011, she wrote “I am not an entertainer/I am an inspirer./I don’t sing songs to entertain and distract./I write songs to inspire,/to heal, /to bring awareness to…myself/and if I’m lucky,/to others.” She has a fan base from her first project, so when it comes to the expectations of major record labels, she isn’t fazed. “Artists like myself to have their foundation already built, and I think they’re respecting it more…The labels kind of fall in line with that,” she said.

“Souled Out” is set for release later this year.

For the complete interview visit Here.