Jhené Aiko’s rise has been slow and steady, and that’s just the way she likes it.
The 26-year-old singer-songwriter’s profile has been blossoming since she broke out with her debut mixtape “Sailing Soul(s)” in 2011. Several years, a few major guest appearances and three Grammy nominations later, the Los Angeles native is headlining her first tour, which drops by the Royal Oak Music Theatre on Friday.
“I feel like nothing has happened too fast or too drastically; it hasn’t been like one day, nothing, and then today I have everything,” says Aiko, on the phone this week from her home in L.A. “It’s still a work in progress, and I really appreciate the pace of everything that’s been happening.”
Aiko learned an important lesson in patience and waiting for things to take their course during her teenage years. She was an early affiliate of boy band B2K, and appeared on several of the group’s songs in the early ’00s. Around that time she was set to release her debut album, but it was shelved by her record company and never released.
“Everything happens for a reason,” Aiko says now. She was having fun going on the road, but she had yet to develop her passion for her craft, and says she doesn’t feel she was ready to be an artist.
Aiko concentrated on school, and while taking English courses she learned to meld her interest in writing with her love of singing. She was working at a restaurant and was feeling stressed at work when she decided to record her own project, and when “Sailing Soul(s)” started coming together, “it was like an out-of-body experience,” she says. “It was a really good feeling.”
After the release of “Sailing Soul(s),” the industry began to take notice of Aiko. She signed a deal with Dion “No I.D.” Wilson’s ARTium Records and began working on her first EP, “Sail Out.” She lent her airy vocals to tracks with rappers such as Kendrick Lamar and Schoolboy Q, and after appearing on Big Sean’s “Detroit” mixtape, she re-teamed with the rapper for his single “Beware” in 2013 and scored her first Top 40 hit.
Also in 2013, Aiko appeared on “From Time,” the emotional cornerstone of Drake’s “Nothing Was the Same” album. That duet led to an opening position on Drake’s tour, and set the table for Aiko’s full-length debut album “Souled Out,” which was released in September and debuted at No. 3 on Billboard’s Top 200 albums chart.
This month’s Grammy nominations included three nods for Aiko: Best R&B Song (for her gold-selling single “The Worst”), Best Urban Contemporary Album (for “Sail Out”) and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration (for “Blak Majik,” her duet with Common).
“I was surprised and shocked,” Aiko says of her nominations. “They’re all tough categories, but it’s cool to me that I was considered.”
Going forward, Aiko isn’t in any rush to speed up the trajectory of her career. She doesn’t plan on rushing her follow-up to “Souled Out,” and respects artists like D’Angelo, who this week released his first album since 2000.
“I feel like he’s a true artist,” she says. “He took that time to work his craft and put his all into that project. You can’t rush creativity. People are used to people putting out two albums a year, those people are not artists of the world. Those are the performers. They’re not the people that are creating. Fourteen years to me isn’t a long time. That’s what it takes.”
Just updated the gallery with High Quality Screen Captures of Jhene’s new video Wading! Go check them out!
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Following the release of her debut album in September, Jhené Aiko caps off her successful year with her sexiest video yet for “Wading,” the latest single off Souled Out.
Jhené Aiko’s “Enter the Void Tour” sailed into L.A.’s Club Nokia on Sunday night. Following sets from Willow Smith, The Internet, and SZA, the L.A. native performed her Souled Out cuts for the hometown crowd and brought out some surprise guests including her daughter Namiko, Childish Gambino (“Bed Peace”), and Chris Brown.
A raft of new artists have been added to the V Festival line-up.
Goldie Lookin Chain and Jhene Aiko lead the latest announcement with the Welsh comedy rap crew and US US R&B singer set to perform at both legs of this year’s event next month (August). The Original Rude Boys and Sons & Lovers have also been added, while additions to the comedy line-up include Boothby Graffoe, Dana Alexander, Mark Oliver and Allyson Smith.
Earlier this week V headliners The Killers announced details of a V Festival warm-up gig in Liverpool. The band will headline the O2 Academy on August 15 prior to their appearance at V Festival 2014, which takes place on the weekend of August 16-17. Justin Timberlake is the festival’s other headline act.
V Festival takes place in Hylands Park, Chelmsford and Weston Park, Staffordshire and also see sets from Lily Allen, Blondie, Chic featuring Nile Rodgers, Elbow, Bastille, Rudimental, Chase & Status, Kaiser Chiefs, Manic Street Preachers, Katy B, Miles Kane, The Wailers and The Stranglers.
Other acts on the bill include Ed Sheeran, Paolo Nutini, Example, Tom Odell, Sub Focus, Rizzle Kicks, John Newman, Sam Smith, Embrace, Janelle Monae, Kodaline, The Human League, Starsailor, The Strypes, Birdy, Foxes, Ella Eyre, The Stranglers, The Magic Numbers, Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbot, George Ezra, M People, All Saints, The Wonder Stuff and The Rifles.
To check the availability of V Festival tickets and get all the latest listings, go to NME.COM/TICKETS now, or call 0844 858 6765!
In celebration of his album release, Common took over the outdoor stage on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on Wednesday and brought along some special guests. The Chicago veteran got the crowd hype with “Blak Majik” featuring Jhené Aiko and was joined by Vince Staples for “Kingdom.”
His 10th album Nobody’s Smiling, which also features Big Sean and Cocaine 80s, is expected to sell 18-21,000 copies in its first week.
Watch Common perform with his friends.
Days ago, Jhené released a new track called “The Pressure” which is now available on iTunes. Check it out below & download it now!
The wait is over for Jhené Aiko fans. The singer’s highly-anticipated debut finally has a release date.
Souled Out will arrive on August 25 via Artium Records/Def Jam, Rap-Up.com has learned. It follows her 2011 mixtape Sailing Soul(s) and 2013 EP Sail Out, which spawned the hit single “The Worst” and collaborations with Kendrick Lamar and Childish Gambino.
Last month, she debuted the first single “To Love & Die” featuring Cocaine 80s and in April, she performed another album cut called “Spotless Mind” at Coachella.
In addition to No I.D., the dark and melodic project features production from Key Wane, Fisticuffs, James Fauntleroy, and Dot Da Genius. Her daughter Namiko is featured on “Promises,” but don’t expect many other collaborations.
“I did the album and it just shaped up to be all me,” she told Rap-Up TV. “I just didn’t leave room for anybody just because I have a lot to say. I just wrote the songs from top to bottom.”
Jhené can also be heard on “Blak Majik” off Common’s upcoming album Nobody’s Smiling.