The masses are looking for those next icons that will have something to say through their art and music. Jhene Aiko, with the help of producer mastermind No I.D., seems to be ready to give the world sounds and vibration that makes us move and think. Jhene says floetic expression cannot be denied and her beauty inside and out can not be ignored. There is something in her spirit that speaks before she opens her lips to sing. It’s great energy in a small package. Singersroom had the great opportunity to exchange thoughts and ideas with the gorgeous songstress about handling her business, being beautiful in a ugly industry and never selling out. Check it out
L.A. All Day … I was born and raised in L.A. so I would have to pick L.A. It’s back to back work none stop when I’m out in NYC so its really hard for me to tell how NYC really is. L.A. is like a slower pace, its chill and relaxed. I love NYC for what is. I’m not sure if I could live here. But my favorite thing about LA is my family… all of us pretty much lives down the street from one another.
Beauty is Inside … It’s funny when people consider you to be one of those beautiful people. A lot of people struggle with self esteem, especially women. Women have issues sometimes with themselves and I’m no different. I’m a woman and I’m not perfect. When people get consumed with you looking beautiful, they tend to not take you as seriously. They assume that you have no depth and underestimate your mind. I think every one is beautiful. Beauty comes from inside.
Handling Business & Being Tough … It’s not hard to handle business because I’m very down to earth. I’ll go into a meeting with no make up so I show I’m a normal person. I like to show that I’m not always made up with the hair down. Everyone has their good looking days and bad looking days. I’m around so many good people like my manager and my family. They always keep things in check. They don’t let no one disrespect me and I wouldn’t let anyone disrespect me. I have tough people around me and I’m tough too so it’s not hard to handle business.
Saving My Soul … ‘Sailing Souls‘ is basically about me being a free spirit and going with the wind as a sail on a sailboat goes with the wind. It’s a play on words in reference to not selling your soul and not having a price. It’s about being you. Being you and not having a price. It’s the complete opposite of selling your soul because your being yourself and going with what you feel instead of going with what you think the world wants you to do. It’s about having soul and keeping your soul. ‘Sold Out,’ which is my album, which will be released early 2013, is about doing just that. I’m killing myself by writing everything. I’m being myself to the fullest.
Writing My Feeling … I write something everyday regardless if it’s a one liner, a poem or a prolific thought that I thought throughout the day. When I get into the studio, people may put on a track, I listen for a while and see what kind of emotions it brings out of me. Sometimes, I have a poem or some lines to add to the track with a melody. I work kind of randomly, but some how some way I get songs done. Sometimes it takes a day or it may take a month. I may add a couple lines at a time until I’m done. However, I like to make sure its right. Sometimes, honestly its kind of a freestyle and I just say how I’m feeling. 3:16 AM is a good example of that. I was in my thoughts and said what I was feeling.
I’m a Lyricist … I can freestyle rap. I’m more comfortable with my singing voice than my talking voice. I’m so inspired and motivated by rappers because its just their voice … there are no notes. They do not have to hold … it’s their voice. I feel like I’m a lyricist. I wouldn’t say I’m a rapper, but I definitely pay attention to my words and I’ve been practicing my freestyle and my flow. Maybe I’ll be able to freestyle rap next time. LOL!!!
It’s All Chemistry … The chemistry between me and No I.D. has been great because he’s not just an industry dude. He is not just worried about how he can make the most money with me. He’s very creative and very intuitive. He understands my vision. I’m signed to Artium Art Club. I deal with him first and then the label … Def Jam. Everyone so far has been super supportive. The chemistry has been great so far and this is my second time meeting everyone.
Me & Cocaine … Me and the Cocaine 80s is made up of musician, singers and producers. I told them I wanted to be a part of the Cocaine 80s. I wanted to be the female voice of the group. They will be featured on ‘Sold Out’. Yes, we are definitely working on a mixtape or album together. That is definitely in the works.
My Around The World Style… My diverse background has influenced everything I do, sing and write. I grew up around so many different cultures and religions and ways of life. I couldn’t be confined to one because they were different from each other. I grew up with an open mind because everyone was different. In my music, I pulled from my Japanese, Native American and African American background. I have cousins that are half white or of different nationalities. I never really was able to pick one nationality to identify with because we all grew up together. I mean, what does it all mean anyway, we are all human. With my sound I’m open… I could sing country next.
If you haven’t had a sample of ‘Sailing Souls’ or her collaborations make sure to do so ASAP. It is a wave you need to ride.
Interview by Jay Woo