Jhené Aiko has always done things her way, which has awarded her with a long-standing career in music. Now, the West Coast R&B singer and songwriter is expanding her reach into films with the same mindset.
Today, Aiko releases the new autobiographical short film, Trip, which she wrote and co-directed with Tracy Oliver (Girls Trip). The 23-minute film takes viewers on a journey “through love, loss, and self-discovery” and features original music and poetry from Aiko, who also plays the lead character, Penny.
“Crazy, how I can stare into empty space and see his smile, crystal clear as day,” Jhené states as the film launches. “I close my eyes and hear his voice… I heard him say my name.”
In the film, Penny meets a perfect stranger (Dante) while writing in her quiet space and makes a leap of faith by going on a journey with him. During their trip, pain and sadness come to the forefront as she continues to grieve over the lost of her brother.
“I am looking for a brother’s love in every single man,” she says at the halfway point. “But you’ll never see me like my brother did, you’ll never need me like my brother did. There’s a black hole in my soul. It’s beginning to show, through my dilated pupils… I thought that I would be fine by now, but suffering doesn’t die, it grows.”
She later adds, “I have never had it easy, and f*ck you if you don’t believe me.”
Watch “Trip” below: